Hospital Employee Health – February 1, 2021
February 1, 2021
View Archives Issues
Healthcare workers — some of whom were initially hesitant to take one of the rapidly developed COVID-19 vaccines — are receiving immunization in an uneven national rollout marked by delays, chaos, and disruptions. Although there are reports of some healthcare workers declining vaccination, there is a growing perception that most healthcare workers will welcome immunization at a time when the pandemic is worsening.
As COVID-19 vaccinations roll out, a handful of people have experienced anaphylactic allergic reactions after receiving the Pfizer vaccine. These cases appear to be extremely rare, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises several measures to recognize and respond to severe allergic reactions to the vaccine.
A CDC advisory panel has designated frontline essential workers and those age 75 years and older as the next priority groups to receive COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. The decision came amid considerable criticism and controversy at an emergency meeting on Dec. 20, 2020, with the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voting to continue the rationing process while vaccine stocks are insufficient.
More transmissible variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are emerging globally and had been detected in three U.S. states as this report was filed. The mutated strains do not appear more virulent, but the enhanced transmission narrows the margin of error for breaks in personal protective equipment and other exposures as healthcare workers begin to take their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccines.