Among the many paramedics, firefighters and different first responders lined as much as obtain the COVID-19 vaccine final Friday at Hayward’s St. Rose Hospital, was one individual whom you seemingly wouldn’t count on to see, in accordance with state pointers governing vaccine distribution.
NBC Bay Space crews overlaying the occasion noticed St. Rose Hospital board member Fred Naranjo getting a shot, who is just not a medical employee, however the proprietor of a San Francisco-based insurance coverage firm.
State pointers are clear about who must be receiving the vaccine in Section 1A: Entrance-line medical employees, expert nursing and assisted residing amenities, and first responders offering emergency medical providers.
Underneath CDC steerage, the state and every county decided who could be on the entrance of the road for the restricted preliminary run of Pfizer vaccines. The objective is to vaccinate those that threat publicity to the virus almost day by day.
When requested by NBC Bay Space’s Investigative Unit about this seeming disparity, Fred Naranjo declined an on-camera interview. However in a cellphone interview, he defended the choice to take the shot together with medical employees and first responders.
“I haven’t jumped the road,” Naranjo mentioned. “I’m on the hospital on a regular basis strolling the halls, speaking to folks.”
Naranjo, who’s Hispanic, mentioned he wished to display to the Hispanic neighborhood that the vaccine is secure.
“The primary factor I wished to do is to point out folks to take the vaccine and to not be afraid,” Naranjo mentioned. “That it’s secure. They have to be protected.”
“I’m Hispanic. I would like my neighborhood to know this (vaccine) is obtainable to everybody. They, no matter their immigration standing, can belief us.” he mentioned.
In response to information supplied by St. Rose, the hospital oversaw the distribution of two,000 separate vaccine photographs. Of these 2,000 photographs, the hospital mentioned 35% went to hospital employees, akin to nurses and docs, and 65% went to county emergency employees. Only one went to a board member, Naranjo, the hospital mentioned.
A spokesperson for the hospital mentioned its administration made a aware resolution to incorporate Naranjo within the first spherical of photographs as a result of “he’s been a pacesetter selling the security and the efficacy of this vaccine.”
A spokesperson for the Alameda County Well being Division mentioned in a press release it was the hospital’s responsibility to find out who amongst their employees would get the vaccine.
“St. Rose is answerable for monitoring the employees who reported for vaccinations. The doses allotted to St. Rose Hospital lined everybody they recognized for this preliminary part of vaccination with out requiring extra prioritization.”
There are greater than 2 million healthcare employees in California, and never almost sufficient doses of the vaccine to go round within the first wave.
Final week, Stanford Medical College residents have been outraged after studying some college who had little-to-no contact with the general public bought vaccinated forward of others who dealt with sufferers.
Stanford admitted that the algorithm it used to find out which of their employees bought the vaccine “bought it improper” and apologized for the error.
“The info that they put in had the danger for older folks being larger than the danger for youthful folks, however they didn’t make it extra particular than that,” mentioned Dr. Christine Cassel, Senior Advisor for Technique and Coverage and a bioethicist at UCSF’s Division of Medication.
“So, all of the division chairs and the deans and the folks operating the place are older and the residents who’re caring for the sufferers are all youthful folks.”
Dr. Cassel mentioned no matter motive, hospital board members taking the shot forward of front-line medical employees doesn’t construct belief among the many public.
“I’ll say it precisely sends the improper message,” Dr. Cassel mentioned.
Cassell mentioned these debates about how we allocate the vaccine is finally a great factor.
“I feel it’s a really wholesome factor for the society that we’ve begun to speak brazenly about rationing and begun to look at these worth,” Cassel mentioned.