Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisors cited ethical reasons that included these summarized below for selecting healthcare workers as first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine:
- Essential for response;
- May decrease transmission to patients, coworkers, community;
- Decrease COVID-19 morbidity and mortality in some healthcare personnel (HCP), since approximately 40% have high-risk conditions or are over 65 years of age;
- May be in low redundancy jobs where absenteeism may compromise/stop care.
- Overrepresentation of some racial or ethnic minority groups and lower income earners;
- Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 higher among Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black HCP;
- Larger proportion of staff at long-term care facilities are female and non-Hispanic Black persons and are disproportionately lower-wage workers.
- HCP recommended for early phase vaccination have an equal opportunity to access vaccine;
- Definition of HCP includes “paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings.”
- Can help reduce disparities in health outcomes;
- Acknowledges increased risk of COVID-19 exposure because of the essential nature of their work.