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The United States rolled out the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this week. Sandra Lindsay, a critical care nurse from Northwell Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, New York, received the very first coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. at 9:23 a.m. on Monday.
There has been debate on who deserves priority on the coronavirus waitlist. One expert told the New York Times that the elderly shouldn’t get priority because “older populations are whiter, ” and not providing them with a COVID-19 vaccine would “start to level the playing field a bit” with minorities.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, an advisory group for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released its official recommendation on who should be at the front of the line for the COVID-19 vaccine. The ACIP put the following groups on the priority waitlist: Healthcare personnel, workers in essential and critical industries, people at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness due to underlying medical conditions, and people 65 years and older.
However, there are rich people trying to skip the line for the coronavirus vaccine by offering to make substantial “donations,” according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.
Dr. Jeff Toll works at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, one of the first hospitals to stock the vaccine. One wealthy individual reportedly offered to make a major “donation” to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to skip the coronavirus vaccine line. The rich person asked Toll, “If I donate $25,000 to Cedars, would that help me get in line?” Toll said no.
California doctors claim that celebrities have ordered their assistants to badger medical clinics until they get on the COVID-19 vaccine priority waitlist.
“Their people are calling me literally every day,” an anonymous doctor claimed. “They don’t want to wait. They want to know how they can get it more quickly.”
Dr. Ehsan Ali, who runs Beverly Hills Concierge Doctor and boasts of celebrity clients such as Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, said he is getting “hundreds of calls every single day” from people trying to get the COVID-19 vaccine. “This is the first time where I have not been able to get something for my patients,” he admitted.
If you don’t have a dedicated assistant or $25,000 to bribe your way to the front of the coronavirus vaccine waitlist, you can see approximately how many people are ahead of you by using the New York Times’ “Find Your Place in the Vaccine Line” tool.