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  •  What pretext? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mariachi mama

    The state of New York has decided to distribute vaccines to companies that have medical staffs on site.  It is a means to get the vaccine into the population other than having public clinics administer it.  Just like any other site that offers the vaccine.  In my area, this includes clinics, hospitals, and the larger drug stores, as well as my mom's tiny church which happens to have a couple of medical types as members.

    The people who work at Wall Street firms are no less citizens of the US than any of the rest of us.  They are members of the large group known as the "general population".

    And, given the number of doses allocated to these companies, and the numbers of employees involved, it is certainly not hard to believe that they would have at least that number of people in the priority high risk groups.

    Having company medical staffs administer the vaccine is just another way to distribute it to the population.

    •  What is your area? n/t (0+ / 0-)

      In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

      by Greek Goddess on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:54:27 AM PST

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      •  Iowa, not too far from the corn fields! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Greek Goddess

        The doses that have been received here so far have been snapped up immediately, so they are being allocated according to a priority list.

        So far, that has meant pregnant, caregiver to other high risk groups, and medical people.

        Initially, when there wasn't such a shortage expected, there were public sites that were first-come, first-served.  They always blew through their supplies in about a quarter of the time they had estimated, hence the need for setting priorities.

        The health department types who decide these things base their estimates on past performance; in this case, it appears that the interest in being inoculated against this particular strain is way beyond the normal seasonal flu.

        I can only think of a handful of companies here who may have enough employees to justify on-site medical staffs, and I'm not sure what the distribution policy is here in that regard.  Or, if such as policy has even been considered, for that matter.

        •  Similar circumstances here in Indiana. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JC from IA

          Our local health department is going to run an open clinic for high-risk people tomorrow morning where they'll distribute 1,000 doses. I know of people who are preparing to get in line at 5:00 a.m. My son's school sent out a notice that vaccines will be offered at school to kids whose parents give permission. I gave permission, but there is no date set yet. I hope it won't be too late. My mother works at the IU School of Medicine, and everyone there, students and staff alike, has received vaccines. Which is reasonable. Since I work at home, I don't expect to be on anyone's list of priorities, but at least those around me will be protected.

          In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

          by Greek Goddess on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 10:03:26 AM PST

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          •  If what has been going on here is any indication, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Greek Goddess

            they'll blow through that 1,000 doses in about 2 hours, or basically about as fast as they can do the injections.

            My personal preference would have been to start with the public schools and publicly operated colleges.  But, then, the first nurse or pregnant woman who was stricken would have been front-page news.

            So far, it seems to me that we are approaching the 10%-of-the-population mark as far as doses distributed.  Not fast, by any means, but I understand that the 60% level is about the best we usually get on the seasonal flu.  

            So, in my mind, that 10% mark will mean 10% fewer "incubators" to distribute this particular virus within this population.

            Which is comforting, to a low-priority type such as myself!

        •  Vaccine available: Visiting Nurses in Des Moines (0+ / 0-)

          Found out by accident by got my 2-year-old vaccinated. Strangely, there seems to have been little or no publicity about this. According to their website, they were scheduled to have it this week, ending today. Walked in with no line. (Granted, availability was for high-risk groups only.)

    •  I agree with that (0+ / 0-)

      but transparency would be a huge help. If Wall Street firms are going to assist the public in vaccinating high risk people, tell them who the high risk people are (not by name, but by category.)

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:57:54 AM PST

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      •  Isn't that being done? (0+ / 0-)

        I don't know the specific policy in New York, or its relative transparency.

        I don't expect companies to open their clinics to the general population beyond their own employees, but what information they are being given as to priorities in NYC I have no idea.

        •  neither does anyone else (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JC from IA

          I can tell you if someone said to me 'we're going to give vaccine to Wall Street companies to distribute' I would have said 'it'll look awful, like the Bernie madoffs are getting it, so have a press release and explain it to me like I was a sixth grader, or come up with another plan'.

          "We have x number of pregnant women on our staff and y number of parents with under six month old babies (high risk CDC groups), and we want to do our part and relieve the burden on pediatrician and OB offices." Announce it as an innovative private-DOH partnership. And put it out before some investigative reporter puts you in defensive mode. Assuming that that is what you are doing.

          Or, you can have this.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 09:28:17 AM PST

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          •  Well, PR is another matter, isn't it? (0+ / 0-)

            As near as I can tell, this policy was in place before this particular strain of virus became an issue.

            The shortage of supplies of the vaccine were not anticipated by the manufacturers; nor was the larger-than-normal interest on the part of the public to get the vaccination, as near as I can tell.

            Should the New York Health Department have anticipated these things and tailored their PR to what actually happened?  Isn't that second-guessing?

            •  this one is such a no brainer (0+ / 0-)

              it's hardly second guessing.

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 09:52:13 AM PST

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              •  Did you anticipate these problems before they (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Caj

                happened, then?  Should officials in New York have told these companies "No, sorry, no vaccine for you until we get our PR campaign right"?

                How do you think that approach would have gone over?

                •  nah (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JC from IA

                  it's the health department saying to the companies "work with us, and we will anounce and plan together."

                  "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                  by Greg Dworkin on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 10:43:08 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, as I understand it, this would still be a (0+ / 0-)

                    policy change by the Health Department with regard to the policy that was in place.

                    I'm not so sure they could have pulled that off without a complaint from some quarter.

                    Moreover, the number of doses they have distributed to companies  so far probably wasn't seen by them as significant, since in reality it wasn't.

                    •  here's a pretty good summary (0+ / 0-)

                      with a (sort of an) apology for not understanding that different within-compny clinics was the same company.

                      Officials Defend Distribution of Flu Vaccine to Companies

                      the problem:

                      Citigroup has received 1,200 doses, more than half of what it requested, health officials said, and in late October, Goldman received 200 of the 5,400 doses it asked for. By contrast, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center received 200 of the 27,400 doses that it requested for its workers, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

                      That is just not right. Here's some good news:

                      Citigroup and Goldman Sachs said they had administered the vaccine to pregnant women and employees with serious health conditions...

                      A spokeswoman for Goldman said the bank, "like other responsible employers, has requested vaccine and will supply it only to employees who qualify."

                      Frieden, the ex-NYC commissioner, is no dummy:

                      News reports on Thursday that the two banks and other companies received doses of the vaccine led Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a former New York City health commissioner, to send out a letter reminding officials nationwide to make sure the vaccine goes only to people in high priority groups. Any decisions "that appear to direct the vaccine to people outside the identified priority groups have the potential to undermine the credibility of the program," he said.

                      and the apology

                      The city’s health commissioner, Dr. Thomas A. Farley, said: "My understanding is that Citi had multiple clinics and facilities, and they placed several orders. The person filling these might not have realized it was one company."

                      "We are dealing with thousands of providers and thousands of orders," Dr. Farley said. "It’s not all going as smoothly as we would like it to go."

                      So, that's better than CEOs get vaccine.

                      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                      by Greg Dworkin on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 01:31:24 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

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