Stanford Hospital Workers Livid Over Management Prioritizing Vaccines for Non-Frontline Staff

A registered nurse prepares a syringe with the first round of the Pfizer COVID vaccination
(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)


Stanford Hospital gathered in protest Friday to accuse the hospital’s administrators of purposely ignoring an error in federal recommendations for vaccine distribution that suggested that medical workers not working directly with COVID-19 patients could be eligible for first-round vaccination.

Many gathered holding signs that conveyed their deep feelings of anger and mistrust after only seven front-line workers, out of the initial shipment of 3,900 doses, were slated to receive the vaccine. Anger fermented after the hospital decided to vaccinate orthopedists and dermatologists before frontline residents, fellows and nurses.

“There is still no articulated plan to vaccinate the remaining 1,300+ residents and fellows, including those on the front line directly treating COVID-19 patients,” a letter drafted by Residents read. “It is important for us to articulate to you that at this time, residents are hurt, disappointed, frustrated, angry, and feel a deep sense of distrust towards the hospital administration given the sacrifices we have been making and the promises that were made to us.”

The angry crowd was finally met by top administrators who assured them that they would correct their error, who then admitted they had got it wrong.

“The leadership and department heads are stepping back and making sure that none of us get vaccinated until you get vaccinated,” Dr. Larry Katznelson, who holds top positions at Stanford Medical School, told the crowd.

Soon afterwards top management released a letter codifying their intentions and regrets to the staff and said that they would keep their promise of restructuring the vaccine distribution for their workers.

“We are optimistic that a large shipment of vaccines will arrive next week, which will allow us to vaccinate a substantial segment of our community,” the letter by the hospitals top executives stated. “We recognize the disappointment and distress this has caused and we appreciate those who brought these concerns to us.”

Protesters shared that they were cautiously optimistic.

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