With Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine newly released, people are beginning to wonder who will have access to it first, and what the order of release will be. Administration of the vaccines has begun in the U.S. today, which began with Sandra Lindsay, a critical care nurse at New York’s Long Island Jewish Medical Center (via the Washington Post). As for proceeding with the release of the vaccine to the masses, according to the New York Times, the CDC has confirmed that the 21 million health care workers within the US will be eligible before anyone else, quickly followed by nearly three million elderly people living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Essential workers will receive the vaccine next, followed by adults with medical conditions, people over 65, all other adults, and then children will follow later on after further research.
Amongst the many people who have first access to the vaccine, however, there might be a surprising person who isn’t on that list: Pfizer CEO, Albert Bourla. But why wouldn’t he take a vaccine that has been so widely desired through this pandemic? Well, it turns out the reasoning is quite altruistic.
Bourla worries how the timing of his vaccination will be perceived
The Pfizer CEO says that the reason he’s waiting to take the vaccine is because he doesn’t want to be perceived as jumping the line, as it were. Bourla told CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, “I haven’t taken it yet and we are having an ethical committee dealing with the question of who is getting it.” Bourla stands by the CDC’s vaccine release order and therefore believes that there are many groups of people who should have access to it before him. “Given that there are very strict allocation rules that the CDC has voted [on], we are very sensitive not to cut the queue and get vaccinated before,” he said.
However, it’s impossible not to address the issue of the Pfizer CEO not being one of the first to take the vaccine. This decision ultimately might come across as him not wanting to take it, which is especially problematic given the rumors and speculations of doubt surrounding the safety and efficacy of the vaccine (via the NY Post).
“People will believe much more [in the safety of the vaccine] if the CEO gets vaccinated,” he told CNN.
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