Boston, Massachusetts, Martha Beeping discussed on Morning Edition
Takes. Hot button issues and tweets. But saving lives in a pandemic takes logistics, most recently getting a vaccine where it's needed. So how's that going? NPR's science reporter Ping Guang is here, along with Martha Beeping Girded member station W bur in Boston. Good morning to both of you. Good morning. Morning. Okay. Martha will start with you in the shrine of Medicine is the vaccine starting to reach Boston? Well, the shrine got shut out, Steve. No, I'm kidding a little bit. Here's the deal in Massachusetts, Five of the 75 hospitals that expect to start visor vaccinations this week received the shipment yesterday. The explanation seems to be shipping glitches and delays during a crazy time. So while there was some grumbling, all of the large hospitals are expecting vaccine shipments today and the smaller ones tomorrow. So in the end, hospital leaders say, what difference does one day really make? Yeah. Hopefully it is only one day now. Once the vaccine has arrived, how's the rollout work? Well, we have already started to vaccinate a few people out of a hospital north of Boston. They started yesterday with a 96 year old World War two veteran named Margaret Claessens. Few hospitals will have media events today, vaccinating hospital leaders or range of employees, especially staff of color. You just heard on the show a little bit about why that's important. It's to build more trusting the vaccines. Then tomorrow and Thursday, we'll start to see the clinics with a couple of 100, nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists and members of the cleaning staff coming in and out every day. Okay, so that's one location across the country. This is happening everywhere. Or as many places as possible. And Ping as you monitor operation Warp speed. How do the next few days and weeks look Yeah, well, Boston's not alone here. You know, around 140 Your 150 sites got there. First Vaccines yesterday and more than 400 are expected to get them today. Here's Health Secretary Alex. These are speaking in Washington, D C yesterday by Wednesday. Vaccine will be delivered everywhere from sites here in Washington to the shores of Guam to the northeastern corner of main. All in all, around three million vaccines are going out this week, and government officials were saying this is just the beginning. You know, every week, states will be getting more vaccine shipments. And most of those first doses we've seen so far have gone to healthcare workers. But next week, some states we're gonna start immunizing nursing home residents as well. Or they're expected to you through a federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens. Teams from these pharmacies will be visiting nursing homes to give shots to both residents and the staff. Martha Ping is just there talking about who gets this first. Is there any debate about who is getting the vaccine first? There's been some controversy in Massachusetts, Steve about including prisoners in Phase one, along with people who live in other group settings, like Homeless shelters in Massachusetts, prisoners will follow hospital staff who care directly for covert patients. Nursing home residents and staff and they'll follow first responders, but prisoners would come before home health care workers at all the hospital and clinic employees who do not care directly for covert patients. Told this was a unanimous recommendation from the States Vaccine advisory group Dr Paul Bidding. Gir, who chairs that group, spoke on a webinar last night. He said the recommendation was based on the large number of outbreaks in prisons and other group residential settings. Group elected to consider all congregate Cara settings with high priority because of the risk of spreading transmission so quickly to so many people, both affecting staff and, of course patients residents themselves. Massachusetts is one of six states that include vaccinating everyone in prisons and jails in Phase one. And another seven plan to vaccinate in clinics in prisons. But just for staff, not inmates, That's all. According to the prison policy Initiative. Ping I can imagine someone saying, Hey, that's unfair. But what is the public health reasoning behind vaccinating prisoners? Well, sure. I mean, prisoners and other people who are jailed or who live in correctional facilities are a group that are at a particularly high risk recovered because of their living situations. You know, they live in cramped quarters with poor ventilation. They can't physically distance and You know, Staff and prisoners moved between facilities So once it's introduced, it spreads really quickly can you know? And at this point more than one in 10 incarcerated people the U. S of caught the coronavirus. More than 1500 have died and a lot of staff have been infected as well. States like California, Texas, Florida, you know, states with large incarcerated populations have had the most cases and the most deaths so It is up to the states who they decide to prioritize for a vaccine. And there are a lot of other groups that could also be next in line, you know essential workers, people who work in grocery stores or die Busses, teachers, farm workers. And of course, you know people with underlying health conditions. So these are all open questions in the CDC is planning on coming out with more guidance and priority groups in the coming weeks, and you can understand the logic. You have a super spreader event in prison that can very quickly spread throughout the community because you have guards and other staff that go back and forth. And that seems to be the same logic of some of these other groups that you mentioned like teachers or in contact with lots of Students or people in a grocery store in contact with all kinds of shoppers, so they're making these choices now because there is a limited supply. When does the supply get to the point where it's not so limited? Absolutely well. One big decision that's coming this week could really increase the supply of vaccines. The Food and Drug Administration is considering a second vaccine made by the drug company Madonna for authorization this week. If that one gets authorized, the government says they have six million doses of that ready to ship out. And in fact, that's actually something that the federal government is banking on. In their estimates. They say that 20 million people could get there. First Vaccine shot this month if they pull what they have for both the visor and murder, no vaccines. And they say 30 million more people could get shots in January. So in terms of when there's going to be enough vaccine for everyone to get one, they're estimating the end of the second quarter next year. So if all goes right, maybe around June, but tens of millions in the next couple of months Ping Thanks so much. Thank you for having me That's NPR's science reporter Ping Wong, along with Martha Beeping Garnet member station Deputy bur in Boston. Thanks so much. Thank you..