Baylor College Of Medicine, Robert Atmar, Mary Louise Kelley discussed on Coronavirus Daily
By the way we should mention some other vaccine news on wednesday officials in the u k approve the vaccine developed by pfizer. Emergency use in that country. That is one of two vaccine still awaiting emergency approval here in the us. That approval has to come from the fda in the meantime the cdc committee. We just told you about still has a lot of work to do in terms of deciding how the vaccine rollout should progress in the early part of next year one of the doctors on that committee is robert atmar of baylor college of medicine in houston he spoke to. Npr's mary louise kelley about what's next. So let's start with the The recommendations from from this panel yesterday it makes total sense that healthcare workers should get first access and then who next. That's something that we've had some preliminary discussions on but have not yet determined the. Please fire department Teachers and other people in central positions might be in the next group followed by persons with underlying diseases that put them at greater risk of complications or death including persons age of sixty five. Do you still have outstanding questions about either of these. Two leading vaccine candidates That that you would want answers to before vaccinating say your colleagues at baylor medicine. I will want to review the data and particularly the safety data We know that individuals will have some side effects. I think knowing exactly what the actions are to be expected will reassure individuals who are going to receive the vaccine i ask. Are you hearing any hesitation among staff people saying. I'm not sure. I want to be in the very first group. Let me see how it goes for a couple of weeks We're hearing a lot of hesitation among health care personnel. And i think a lot of it has to do with the plo sized nature of the vaccine development in the whole response to the pandemic so were beginning to roll out education to reassure. The there weren't any steps that were skipped but because of the severity of the pandemic one person a minute dying in the united states each day it really is important to try and take steps that will be effective in preventing disease if you are hearing hesitation. Even from healthcare workers from frontline people at at baylor. How do you expect to persuade the rest of texas. The wider population well the healthcare workers. I've spoken to who have expressed concern to me. I don't necessarily want to be in the first group even though they're prioritized for the first group but want to see for themselves how their friends and colleagues respond to the vaccine. I understand that's human nature. But i certainly plan on being a model if either vaccine becomes available and is recommended by the demonstrate my confidence and the vaccine and the whole review and approval process. You'll be as close to the front lines as you're able to get correct. Dr robert atmar with baylor college of medicine in houston so vaccines will be available to healthcare workers and those in long term care facilities will be mandatory in hospital settings. It's pretty likely flu. Vaccines already are mandatory for some healthcare employees a mandatory covid nation in any other workplace and whether employers could require. It is a huge open question. Here's npr's andrea shoe only a couple of months into the pandemic. Hollie smith had made up her mind. Her restaurant cafe. Juanita kirkland washington would not reopened a diner's until there was a covid nineteen vaccine. She's already told her staff. You are going to get vaccinated. Some of my young millennials are like. I'm taking this as a directive like as a mandate. Is that how you made it. It's scary thing you know really. Yeah yes yes. Smith had twenty eight employees before the pandemic. She's had to lay off all but five. Her dining spot has become a takeout. Only business even with a much smaller staff. Smith is serious about safety. She requires her workers to get tested if they go on vacation with people outside their bubble or if they're showing any sign of illness. I believe in civil liberties and all those different things but you know we have people who lived with their parents. We have people who live with a husband who has diabetes. The staff have to be healthy and safe before you can move forward. She says you know four vaccinated move out in the world and be responsible for these twenty eight or thirty people plus all the people coming in now. If you're wondering. Can she actually do this. Can she require her workers to get vaccinated answer appears to be yes but her workers also have the right to request exemptions under federal law. Someone could say. I have a medical or religious reasons. I can't be vaccinated and companies must try to provide accommodations. It's incredibly hard to manage. A mandate johnny taylor. Junior is president of the society for human resource management. He says each requests must be evaluated on its own merit now. Imagine if there were hundreds of them. A recent poll found four in ten americans. Don't want the vaccine though that polling was done before anyone knew how well the vaccines would work so. This is a true headache for hr professionals. That's why you're likely to see. Many companies strongly encourage the vaccine but stops short of mandating. It take for example. The pork producer smithfield the company told. Npr they're not anticipating a firm mandate but they want to offer the vaccine onsite even with all the headaches. Taylor things many employers will go for the mandate after all they have an obligation to get rid of any known hazards in the workplace like cova. It's real and it's devastating. So i think that dynamic changes employers are actually going to position this as i need to do this full stop. Now there are some workplaces that already mandate the flu vaccine most commonly hospitals. Dr james mcdevitt is dean of clinical affairs at baylor college of medicine in houston. He says the annual flu shot is required for some fourteen thousand people. Doctors nurses med students clerks. That are sitting in a computer. That don't see visions. It's the right thing to do for society. He says if you claim exemption you have to wear a mask now with the covid vaccine baylor is not going to make it mandatory until they can actually get enough supply to cover everyone and until it's been deemed safe not just by the fda mcdevitt says but by his own colleagues johnny taylor. Junior says whatever companies decide there are likely to be challenges and so congress and state legislators are going to have to think about how to offer some protection on both sides legal protection for companies that mandate the vaccine in case. Someone has a bad reaction even though you will have to sign a waiver before you get the shot. They also got to protect the employers. Who decided not to make it a mandate and then who were sued by employees contract. It taylor has been meeting with federal employment officials telling them employers want to do the right thing but they're in a tough spot and they're going to need help getting through this..