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MercuryNews: Santa Clara County investigating hospital for offering...
>> Good Samaritan Hospital takes its vaccine doses, does not even try to reach out to Phase 1b-tier 1, and instead contacts a local school district and offers to vaccinate them, "which Johnson framed as a thank-you after the district raised funds for 3,500 meals for frontline workers." So I guess hospitals can merely take the vaccines they've been allocated and give them away to whomever they choose, whoever has supported them the most and given them the most, regardless of CDC/State/County prioritizations. I think there should be more than an investigation -- shouldn't people from Good Samaritan ultimately go to jail for this?  If Moderna or Pfizer did this (and say, delivered vaccines in gratitude to shareholders) or political parties did this (emailed campaign donors to receive vaccinations as a "thank you") -- wouldn't that be a criminal investigation? I knew there'd be a lot of corruption in terms of vaccine allocation, I knew many doses would just disappear (and in fact predicted this on the Card Board). I was at first a little surprised to see it was the hospital administrators/managers who were the ones in the paper consistently for this (vaccinating work at home department heads before emergency room doctors at Stanford Hospital, and now vaccinating "friends" of Good Samaritan before even reaching out to seniors in their community). During this pandemic, we are learning about the character of hospital administrators. And, by the way, the fact that there are no sign ups for leftover vaccines at the end of the day -- doesn't this mean that they systematically are giving away those last doses to whomever they want, every day, with no oversight, transparency, or accountability?

From the Mercury News:
County called the actions ‘problematic’ and has said it may curtail hospital’s future vaccine doses

 Santa Clara County officials are investigating the South Bay’s Good Samaritan Hospital after it offered Los Gatos teachers COVID-19 vaccinations in what the county has called a “problematic” series of events.
On Thursday morning, teachers in the Los Gatos Union School District received an email from Superintendent Paul Johnson informing them of an “exciting development”: The offer of vaccines via Good Samaritan, which Johnson framed as a thank-you after the district raised funds for 3,500 meals for frontline workers, including at Good Samaritan, at the start of the pandemic.
“They mentioned that our kindness last year was not forgotten and how much they appreciate it,” Johnson said in the email, which was first reported in San Jose Spotlight and obtained by this news organization, and which Fenstersheib references throughout his letter to the hospital. “This is a wonderful gesture by our Good Sam neighbors and I encourage you to take advantage of this within the next few hours. … If there are no available appointments, they are populating the site daily, if not multiple times per day.”
Jim Fredette, who has taught at the district’s R.J. Fisher Middle School for 15 years, wrote in a public comment during Thursday’s meeting that the offering was “unethical.”

“All that time, I’ve been reminding Fisher students to not cut in line. However, as it turns out, LGUSD not only condones it, but encourages it,” Fredette said. “Even if in some quirk of circumstances, district lawyers justified this action, it is terrible optics. When health care workers and seniors remain unvaccinated, this course of action is wrong, any way you slice it.”

Countywide, Santa Clara has administered 145,074 vaccine doses so far, according to its vaccine dashboard. Good Samaritan has received 6,585 first- and second-round doses and administered just over half of them, with 300 appointments scheduled over the next seven days.

Fenstersheib wrote that because Good Samartian has not begun to broadly vaccinate those over 65, “much less made focused and appropriate efforts to reach that group,” Good Samaritan’s decision did not adhere to the state’s vaccine prioritization or the “level of outreach” necessary before moving to lower tiers.
While I feel strongly that the older groups at risk should have priority, the state put teachers in Phase 1B Tier 1. It was only after the CDC and HHS said to open vaccinations to 65+ did the state add 65+ to the prior Tier 1 of 75+ and certain workers. See for the current phases & tiers.

Some counties then adjust the state's guidelines to their priorities. Some have opened to 65+ generally. Some have not.

I know there are many who feel schools should be open. It also seems unethical to ask teachers to put themselves at risk (people under 65 are at risk, just reduced).

I know a family in which the parents are split. One parent got COVID, gave it to the kids when they were with that parent, and then the kids gave it to the other parent who has been extremely isolated from others. Kids are people. They do get COVID and they do infect others. It is both a blessing and a curse that the disease in them is often hard to notice.

The ethics of offering it to one subgroup (say, teachers in one district but not all) is a slippery surface. For instance, why should Kaiser offer its vaccine to their patients and not, say, to anyone in harder hit areas? (I do believe that is proper as the state is trying to utilize the medical organizations to distribute the vaccine.)

I think Stanford tried to do an age-based distribution for the 15K doses for all their staff that they got within 8 days, but a tempest arose over the optics of it.
If vaccines are distributed according to the probability that the group would (1) end up in the hospital, (2) end up in the ICU, or (3) die, then we could save the maximum amount of lives. Not only are elderly people still worth it, but having hospitals less overwhelmed improves care for those who get it. I think a lot of people agree on something according to this train of thought. However, legality of dosing other people is a completely different question.

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