As Hospitals Roll Out COVID-19 Vaccines, Health Care Workers Describe Chaos and Anger

January 5, 2021 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce

Last modified January 19, 2021

As stated in this article in NPR, health care workers across the country have started receiving COVID-19 vaccines, but doctors and nurses at some of the nation’s top hospitals are raising the alarm. According to many, vaccine distribution has been unfair and a chaotic “free-for-all.” Medical professionals at hospitals in Massachusetts, New York, Arizona, California, and elsewhere claim that those with the most exposure to COVID-19 patients are not always the first to get vaccinated. And others who have little or no contact with COVID-19 patients have received vaccinations.

“It definitely feels a little bit like a slap in the face,” said Jennifer DeVincent, who has been a neonatal intensive care unit nurse in the prestigious Mass General Brigham hospital system for 16 years, and attends deliveries with COVID-positive mothers.

At Mass General Brigham, the plan was for hospital staff to use an app to sign up for vaccinations. Everyone is sorted into different “waves” meant to prioritize those most at risk. However, the plan relies on the honor code, and internal emails obtained by NPR instruct employees to “self-police.” According to staff, there were problems from the beginning. “It turned into somewhat of a free-for-all,” DeVincent said. “Those that work the most have had the hardest time getting an appointment because you can’t always log on at that exact moment.”

In New York, a doctor affiliated with Northwell Health who conducts 10 or more COVID-19 tests a day on patients has not been able to get a vaccine appointment. “It’s really very upsetting,” said the doctor, who also requested anonymity for fear her residency privileges would be taken away. “Throughout this whole pandemic, I’ve never felt so dejected as I do right now.”

Share this

Related Articles

                                Leave a Comment