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Who Gets the Vaccine First?

In the event of a flu pandemic, who should get first crack at vaccines and other treatment options? The conventional response is that health care workers, first responders and those most at risk for coming down with the disease should be at the front of the line.

But in a new report from the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University, a panel of federal and state officials challenge that notion. They argue that some other people hold jobs so critical to the continued functioning of the country and its economy that they should be considered essential, too.

“Alongside healthcare workers and first responders, priority should be given to the people who provide the public with basic essentials for good health and well-being, ranging from grocery store employees and communications personnel to truck drivers and utility workers,” said Nancy Kass, deputy director of public health at the Berman Institute.

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