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Massachusetts sets multi-month effort to get residents vaccinated

Timeline of vaccine distribution

Gov. Baker today announced a phased approach to distribution of impending Covid-19 vaccine through next summer, starting this month with front-line hospital workers, followed by residents and workers at long-term care facilities, then first responders, people in prisons and homeless shelters, home-based health-care workers and, if there is enough vaccine left, health-care workers doing non-Covid-19 work.

Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said that front-line healthcare workers will include custodians and dietary workers who come into contact with patients, not just doctors, nurses and technicians. Bake said the first 60,000 doses could be ready for them by next week.

Baker said the state submitted its first formal order for vaccine orders to the CDC on Friday and that it expects to get up to a total of 300,000 doses by the end of the month.

Baker said that starting roughly in February, as more vaccine doses are shipped to Massachusetts, vaccination would be opened to a wider group that includes people with two or more "comorbidities" or underlying conditions, people who work in critical industries - including transit, schools, supermarkets, public health and public works, people over 65 and, if there's enough vaccine, people with just one serious underlying condition.

Finally, starting in roughly April, vaccinations would be made available to anybody who wants the shots.

Baker emphasized the timeline could be changed depending on such factors as federal approval of additional vaccines beyond the initial vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.

Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and the Rev. Liz Walker, a member of the governor's vaccine task force, emphasized that "equity" will be a key part of vaccine distribution, in particular in the early phases - members of racial and ethnic groups that have been disproportionately hit by Covid-19 will be particularly targeted with information to try to convince them to get shots.

Walker acknowledged that some of these groups might be hesitant to get shots promoted by government and that part of her work will be to convince people the vaccine will help protect them, not hurt them.

"I think there's a lot of skepticism, still," she said. "I think [convincing people] is going to take a lot of work."

Dr. Paul Biddinger, director of disaster medicine at MGH, and chairman of the vaccine task force, said that people who have had diagnosed Covid-19 within past 3 months should wait until 3 months have past to get a shot; people who have had a case more than 3 months ago can get a shot right away, if they're in one of the groups for which shots are available at that point.

He added that some people may have side effects from the vaccine, including feeling like they're coming down with something, especially after the second dose. He said that's actually a good sign, that the person's immune system is kicking in.

Missing from the state timeline are vaccines for children. Biddinger said trials of the vaccines were in adults, so the state has no word yet on whether and how kids should get shots.

More details on state plan.

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Comments

... on the timeline flyer are giving me great joy. I truly appreciate that someone devoted time and attention to this.

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These are stock illustrations. DPH employs a set of people images that reflect diverse populations and occupations and ages and other identifiers. These same folks appear in any number of DPH communications (including the now UHub famous Stroke Heroes Act FAST! PSA)

Part of their purpose is to enhance the message for people with low literacy. Another part is that you can identify with the characters and realize that message is for you. Bof fry flew!

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I think they're great. Like, someone drew polkadots on a mask.

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While there may be some cross over with previous DPH campaigns, I know the people who create these graphics. They do not work at DPH; rather they are part of the digital services group who work on the mass.gov website. The youngins are both grads of MassArt. One recent Tday poster was so useful, it was lifted by the CDC.

These workers are putting in long days creating all of the messaging-webpages, forms, graphics, motion graphics+++

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Who are pushing for priority? He just won't talk about that publicly...

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They'll get shots by Phase 2 latest.

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They might get theirs from their employer, in exchange for SEE EVERYBODY! GET YOUR VACCINE LIKE YOUR SPORTISINGHERO DOES! video PSAs.

This sort of endorsement would be well worth the handful of vaccines involved.

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Where will their employers get the vaccine?

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It is probably one of the priority groups in the plan they won't show to Biden because Trump says the games have to go on.

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You see, while Alex Azar gets all huffy macho man indignant and abusive when asked about "why haven't you given the vaccination rollout plans to the Biden Administration" and yammers and brays like a jackass about lots of press conferences, you better believe that it is because stuff like this is in there.

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Will the NY Jets be in the early groups of Phase 1, or do they need to clinch the draft pick first?

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i know this a joke but he was in boston before they cancelled the game on april.

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The headline I'm assuming you're referencing was needlessly misleading and inflammatory. The actual group the article was talking about was requesting bank tellers get vaccinated, not financial advisors or stockbrokers or the like. People sometimes still need to visit the bank to get money to buy essential goods.

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Voting closed 35

And Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPM etc nin-retail will just sit back and twiddle their thumbs patiently waiting.

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There's no evidence they've tried, they don't have any good argument that their workers need it (since they can all wfh), and they have plenty of evidence now that if they did try they'd get excoriated, so why borrow trouble?

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The extremely rich might be able to get the COVID vaccine by just paying people lots of money to get it for them through unofficial means. But the idea that the financial sector will be able to get special treatment as an industry when there's barely the slightest excuse for doing that is just misunderstanding the ways which the financial sector is advantaged. Many financial workers make good money but the people making millions are a decidedly privileged subset.

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While it is likely that Wall St will absolutely whine like a bunch of babies in order to save The Most Holy In-Person Stonk Trading, Jethro is correct. The furor about bankers getting priority in vaccination was based on an unclear statement. It was later followed up by a correction indicating that it was only public-facing bank employees who should have priority.

Like most things involving the Outrage Cycle model of media consumption, the correction was widely underreported, a problem not particularly exclusive to either mainstream or fringe media.

I have no love of the financial industry, but spreading false or misleading info hurts everyone and only gives more fuel to outlets who are actively bad actors. OANN and Newsmax already do that as a matter of course, and nobody who cares about journalism should want to bring themselves down to that level.

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Said last March it was work from home for at least a year.

It looks like they were only off by a month or two. Most of the people I know who work downtown are just fine with working from home until this passes.

If you have been downtown lately most of it at noon on Tuesday looks like a winter Sunday in the 1980's.

Folks - Hit up the local restaurants that are the lifeblood of the lunch crowd; Viga, Zo, Pita Thyme, Boston News, Al's, Falafel King, and others with gift card purchases.

It will be late summer before everyone is back at work full time. Let's let these places survive so we have lifeblood circulating until things are good again.

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I miss Chacarero.

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who sit behind glass everyday.

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Not in all banks.

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grocery and corner store employees should be grouped with police, fire, e.m.t.'s.

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Cops shouldn’t be near the front of the line period. Haven’t they taken/stolen enough from taxpayers? Will they have time to get a shot or will they be too busy covering up their own DUIs and overtime theft?

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I think you have been hacked. Someone has turned your account into a parody handle.

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Everytime the BPD Union and City go to arbitration for a contract, the union pulls out a list Kiniopio's comments here and everyone gets a big fat raise. Cops need people like Kiniopio in this world or they would be out of a job.

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counts as 8 hrs OT, and the vaccine requires two doses

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oh, put a sock in it.

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I don’t eat socks though you apparently lick boots. So you are for cops stealing money and driving drunk and facing no punishment for their crimes. Got it.

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Nope.
I was referring (as if you didn't know) to the tired, trite, bullshit notion that police somehow aren't frontline responders who
- have to report to work
- can't phone it in
- have to work in all sorts of unstable, uncontrolled, variable environments
- have to work with all sorts of uncontrolled, unscreened populations
- are therefore more likely to be exposed and infected
- are therefore more likely to communicate it (especially to vulnerable populations)
- are therefore an important group to vaccinate
+++
Since, however, you want to double- or triple-down on your other tired, trite, bullshit notions such as
- police as a class are criminal and corrupt,
...and...
- the morally bankrupt idea that the rest should be punished for the actions of a small minority.
All I can say is the thought that police offenses (real or imagined) somehow outweigh the public health considerations (and the decidedly limp rhetorical flailing to imply that I think that police offenses should not be dealt with) is not merely bizarre.
It is, to quote Stephen Fry on somebody else's writing -

It is complete loose stool water. It is arse-gravy of the worst kind.
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you lost me with
- have to report to work
- can't phone it in

have you never heard of the mass state police?

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Perhaps most egregious of all, the vast majority of police officers are motorists.

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But COVID has killed multiple times as many cops this year as gunfire and motor vehicle accidents have.

Police - community focussed ones in particular - spend a lot of time in contact with the general population. They are often the first to respond to medical calls, too.

If you must make a deal of it, rub this shit into any jackass who rejects masks but tries to play the "BLUE LIVES MATTER" card, particularly the hundreds of COVID deaths verses tens of line of duty shooting deaths. Don't begrudge front liners the protection that they need.
https://fopcovid19.org/news/covid-19-line-of-duty-deaths/
https://www.odmp.org/search/incident/covid-19

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Police - community focussed ones in particular - spend a lot of time in contact with the general population. They are often the first to respond to medical calls, too.

I get that, but a lot of grocery and other retail workers spend 100% of their work time in contact with the general population. This smells to me more like "police and fire unions got clout" rather than a sensible public health decision.

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My son is a retail food worker.

In many rural and even suburban areas, however, cops are the first to respond to medical calls since they ARE the EMTs, too.

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But unlike Police, Fire, EMTs and Healthcare workers, their work isn't hands-on. I assume thats why they're being grouped into phase II.

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you make a great point, but the flip side is that they have far less power to control the circumstance with a risky person. Try to engage with a hospital worker or first responder without PPE, they can assert some control over the situation. It's not perfect or complete, but it's some control.

Much tougher to create safety, distance, and deescalate in a bodega.

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I love that some police dispatcher who spends most of their time in a room by themselves in Plympton or Paxton will get a shot over a Lynn Public School teacher.

Not all police are front line and not all deserve it over people who interact more with the public.

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You've got to throw cops' wives and nephews and state legislators and their nephews and the guy who plows their driveways into the schedule somewhere

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I'm not looking for an argument but I would like to point out that public safety dispatchers are critical to emergency response (someone's gotta take your 911 call and dispatch the needed resources to you). Regardless of the risk of exposure to them at work, the people holding those positions are critical to maintaining the readiness our public safety system, just as non-COVID healthcare workers are still critical to maintaining our healthcare system and are similarly prioritized once those providing direct COVID healthcare are immunized first.

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Will get vaccinated before teachers, too.

If Aaron Hernandez hadn't killed himself he'd get a jab before a teacher in the Lynn Public Schools.

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?

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given that people in a prison have no latitude to protect themselves in other ways, but teachers can (depending on circumstance) work from home, acquire better masks, or even strike for better conditions.

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People who have been convicted of crimes are still human beings, you fucking ghoul. Jails and prisons have been factories of death during this pandemic. Prisoners should absolutely be among the first wave of people to get the vaccine.

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Just some more radical extreme thinking over here...
but maybe if the United States didn’t have the largest prison population in the world we wouldn’t have to prioritize vaccinating inmates. 50 years for a bag of grass doesn’t seem like much of a respect for life either...

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Anyone who feels this way, please feel free to give up your spot in line to a murderer or rapist. Otherwise, end of the line felons.

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Some voice saying it's the 8th Amendment, and that you should respect the Constitution even if you have no respect for dignity or sense.

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end of the line felons.

How fortunate for everyone that you are not the boss of the line.

These "felons" are not at liberty to distance themselves from other people, and spread among their population will inevitably lead to spread to the population at large. Try not to be any more stupid about this than absolutely necessary.

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Mhm.

When you assume a custodial control over a person, including those incarcerated for crimes, you assume a moral and ethical responsibility to provide them humane living conditions. If you cede that moral high ground, you cede any standing to judge others for their acts.

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There's more to the Constitution than just the Second Amendment. You might want to take a look at the rest of it some time.

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doesn't make you ineligible for healthcare. but in this country it does make you subject to living conditions that make you vulnerable to infectious disease. we created those prison populations, we have to deal with them when situations like this arise.

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I think it's amusing that police are near the top of the list whereas most of them don't actually seem concerned enough to wear masks today.

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I have a few friends in law enforcement, who've spent this year going in to work and interacting with the best the public has to offer while I've sat at home and placed Amazon orders while I'm in a Zoom meeting.

I have a degree that involved plenty of advanced statistics and modeling, and I've told my friends that I think they're being a bit cavalier about the risks. At the same time, they've spent the past eight months out there in the world, rolling the dice on exposure which they could bring home to their families, while I've been taking exceptional care of my houseplants and working on recipes that take 12 hours to cook.

I think about this not just in terms of police but all the "essential" workers, nearly all of whom are disproportionately much lower paid than me, immigrants, non-white, etc., who are having indoor social events and doing other higher-risk things that are driving up infections in Eastie, Chelsea, Lowell, and the like.

All of these folks have been much more up close and personal with the pandemic this year than I have. And at this point we all know lots of people who've had it and gotten over it, and if we know people who got it badly, chances are they were in their 70s and 80s, which is when most of us will die anyway, even if we're somewhat lucky. So it sort of makes sense in terms of human nature that the people who've been exposed to the most risk are becoming somewhat inured to it.

While I'll continue to hide in my fortress of solitude, part of me isn't inclined to judge them too harshly.

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...is the biggest argument for not placing cops near the top of the list. Let them show some concern for protecting themselves and the public first.

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I hate it here.

This exact thread is exactly why this is going to be awful.

WHERE'S MINE. BUT MINE MINE MINE MINE. ME ME ME.

Whatever. so close to permanently checking out. So done with people and their selfish attitudes. People wonder why I talk to so few people these days.. GEE I WONDER WHY

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I'm not seeing a lot of MINE MINE MINE in this thread. What I'm seeing is people's frustration with cop-worship.

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Its NOT "Great we're going to get a vaccine" its

LETS ARGUE ABOUT WHO GETS IT

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I wish everyone would just get it as soon as possible, but it's really not possible to be optimistic that this will be done well after months of catastrophic failure at all levels of leadership. They'll show a bunch of doctors and nurses getting it, local news will swoon, then they'll make sure they and their friends are cleared, and maybe sometime by late next summer you'll find out that they'll be giving out 100 shots a day every other Thursday behind the Methuen DPW garage. This is, of course, based on nothing but constant observation of the American response to the pandemic for nine months.

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I get what your saying, but this the UHUB COMMENT SECTION. Thats like saying I like slashdot but it wish it had less pedantic assholes.

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I believe you mean FEWER pedantic assholes.

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LETS ARGUE ABOUT WHO GETS IT

The priority list created the argument, cybah. Don't blame people for pointing it out.

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This is not about cop worship. Plain and simple a police officer is more exposed to this stuff than most people on a daily basis. It is a simple fact. In fact the better the officer, the closer they come in to contact with other people. They are also potential super spreaders. If an officer gets it then he is spreading to everyone he/she comes into contact with. Also despite the donut stereotype many front line officers are in pretty good shape and are the types that are less affected by these things, which means they could easily be spreading this everywhere. Other older officers on the other hand who are still out and about have other conditions that make them more likely to die.

So while I understand the frustration please use some logic before assuming that cops being high up on the list is due to cop worship.

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If it makes you feel better, I'm a person who won't be pushing others out of line so I can be first.

Lol

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Vaccination/immunity passports can’t be a thing until fully rolled out. As soon as they are, we won’t roll this out to the right people first.

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And in all seriousness, cybah, are you okay? If you're talking of checking out checking out, not just out of UH or news updates, please please please call the Lifeline at 800-273-8255. Please.

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A couple of questions:
- Phase 1, second bullet: Long term care facilities, etc... - Is that staffing, residents, or both? I would think "both", but the chart doesn't specify
..
- Is there weighted-risk for different age groups of older people? Phase 2 seems okay (to this non-medical person) for otherwise healthy over-65's, but aren't "otherwise healthy" over-80s viewed as being at more risk?

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I also noted the lack of info about the "who" in long-term care facilities. My guess is that it's everyone. Vaccinating just the workers isn't enough, nor is just doing the patients. You need everyone to get the shot to really protect the "bubble".

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Everyone in long term care facilities. Workers and residents.

Remember: Charlie Baker's nonagenarian father is one of them.

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There are 6,946 fewer of these people to vaccinate than there were nine months ago, so more vaccine for everyone else!

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I wonder when Pfizer / BioNTech / Moderna employees will get it. I wouldn't be opposed to those who busted their asses working on the program to be close to the top of the list! From personal experience, I believe it was for the SARS or MERS outbrake a local Pharma company that developed a vaccine offered it to their employees and families over a weekend before it was publicly available.

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One isn't enough? Like diabetes? Phase two makes it sound like you basically already have to have one foot in the grave to get the vaccine.

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I don't know why the separated out one and two comorbitites, but they're both listed in Phase 2. Unless the list is in order of receipt. I have one, possibly two, so I am watching this closely and will be asking my doc about it when I see her next week.

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Tufte fans will correctly point out that bullet points don't imply an ordered list. If you want an ordered list, use numbers or letters.

They didn't (perhaps for design or other considerations) but the list is, in fact, ordered. So in a perfect queueing system, everybody with 2+ comorbidities who wants a vaccine will get a jab before anyone with merely one comorbidity.

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Unless the list is in order of receipt

It is. If you have one, you're several places in line below those with 2+.

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Is there anyone over 60, or even 50, who doesn't have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and/or a body weight that would qualify as obese (lower threshold than might think)? Not sure the comorbidity count is going to be a very effective determinant.

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From https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-...

Cancer
Chronic kidney disease
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)
Pregnancy
Sickle cell disease
Smoking
Type 2 diabetes mellitus

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The following list also appears on the CDC site, anyone with these conditions “might be at increased risk of severe illness” from the virus. (Adults with conditions on on the above list “are” at higher risk.)

CDC also cautions the lists may not be exhaustive and anyone with another underlying condition should consult their doctor.

So high blood pressure and “overweight” both count.

Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
Cystic fibrosis
Hypertension or high blood pressure
Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
Liver disease
Overweight (BMI > 25 kg/m2, but < 30 kg/m2)
Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
Type 1 diabetes mellitus

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I agree that it's unclear, and that it was irresponsible to delegate the responsibility for explaining this to a web link, but I read that, and came to the conclusion that the second list is just cautionary, and the first one is the official comorbidity list. If they have one.

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"People who have had diagnosed Covid-19 within past 3 months should wait until 3 months have past to get a shot; people who have had a case more than 3 months ago can get a shot right away, if they're in one of the groups for which shots are available at that point."

If the vaccine stimulates an immune response, surely the virus itself does the same. Is the response to the vaccine that much stronger than to the actual disease? I sure hope we don't need vaccination every three months!

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I'd rather get it every 3 weeks than continue as we have been since March.

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But given the apparent resistance to vaccination by an alarming number of people, needing repeat jabs after the first two will result in poor compliance after time, don't you think? Look at how many people don't get flu shots. I wonder if the docs expect seasonal variations just like influenza.

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It's thought that immunity from COVID-19 does wane over time, but the vast majority of people who've caught it haven't gotten reinfected, so I'd rather have *anyone* who has been diagnosed with it be at the end of phase 3.

(Possible counterargument: Anyone who has caught it in the past is likely to be in a situation where they're going to be exposed to it repeatedly...)

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Vaccines are initially scarce and we are fairly certain that natural antibodies protect for three months in the vast majority of cases, but we believe vaccine antibody response is stronger than natural response so we would like everyone to get one when available

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There isn't a ton of data (one year, remember?), but there's a concern that the immunity of people who have survived covid wanes over time. It has nothing to do with the efficacy of the vaccine.

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https://dearpandemic.org/vaccine-and-diminishing-antibodies/

"There are a lot of reasons why vaccines are preferable to natural immunity (besides not getting sick!). Vaccines have immune enhancing strategies including: delivery of a uniform dose of immune stimulus, two injections and/ or use of an adjuvant (immune enhancer)."

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If you are near the front of the line, please remember, you are just a guinea pig for the rest of us waiting the 6 months to get the vaccine.

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They've already done a bunch of studies of safety and efficacy. The people who volunteered for those were the "guinea pigs". Now they're moving on to actually trying to vaccinate big chunks of the population. Of course they'll be watching carefully for any adverse effects, but the thrust now is protection, not assessment.

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Jenny McCarthy, is that you?

Any approved or authorized vaccine in this country will have completed a large phase 3 clinical trial showing both safety and efficacy. The same as any pharmaceutical product brought to market.

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If you are merkin, please remember, your antisocial behavior ultimately harms you as much as the people you're obviously trying to harm now.

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