Due to a faulty algorithm, a malfunctioning schedule, and mismanagement in terms of logistics, several frontline healthcare workers were not able to receive the vaccine in the first batch that was rolled out.
The coronavirus infections have been skyrocketing to over 200,000 cases and over 3000 deaths per day and the hospitals are exceeding their capacities. Doctors have been tirelessly working in intensive care units as well as tending to severely ill patients. Still, they were not provided the vaccine, because of administrative mishandling and doctors are now enraged.
An internal medicine resident at Stanford Health Care expressed her disappointment, saying that even though doctors and nurses are labeled as heroes and praised constantly, they are merely words because they were not prioritized for the vaccine.
Over 100 doctors from Stanford protested, speaking up for the nursing staff, fellows, environmental service workers, residents, and respiratory therapists who have to take care of the coronavirus patients regularly. The demonstrators could be heard chanting about getting no support even though they are called heroes.
— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) December 18, 2020
Even the telehealth employees who assist patients from home were able to receive the vaccines, but healthcare workers on the frontlines were severely neglected.
Residents, the doctors who work in hospitals after medical school to complete their training were also required to volunteer to work with coronavirus patients in the ICU; however, they were infuriated that they were not one of the firsts in line to receive the vaccine according to the Stanford algorithm.
The program director of Stanford’s internal medicine residency program also spoke on the matter, saying that the vaccine distribution was a disaster and one of the most disappointing 24 hours in his life.
8/ I have so much sadness over today. Sadness for the message that it seemed to send to our trainees, even if not deliberate. Sadness to miss out on the joy of celebrating the monumental achievement of the vaccine with the #IGotTheShot picture I've been excited about all week.
— Ronald Witteles (@Ron_Witteles) December 19, 2020
Stanford Medicine responded to the protests, admitting that the errors in the algorithm had led to a huge problem in the vaccine distribution. They announced that they would be taking immediate action and amending their mistakes.
They released a statement to explain that they aimed to create a fair and equal distribution system. They proceeded to apologize to all of the frontline workers and praised them for their work amidst the pandemic.
One of the physicians expressed that this was supposed to be a moment of celebration for the medical and healthcare community but instead, it became a race where employees were competing against each other to be able to reserve a vaccine appointment.