Friday, December 18, 2020

Rich people are trying to pay to skip the coronavirus vaccine line


The Week

Kathryn Krawczyk
Fri, December 18, 2020, 1:25 PM EST

Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine is already being distributed to health care workers and the elderly throughout the United States, and Moderna's is on track to be out there soon. But following those prioritized groups is a millions-long line of people looking to get vaccinated as soon as possible — a line the wealthy are hoping some well-placed donations can help them skip, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The nation's wealthiest have been relatively sheltered from COVID-19 and all its devastating effects. Many have the ability to stay home and avoid catching the virus, ordering food and necessities to their door as they work desk jobs. And if they do get sick, they're more likely to have access to top-notch medical care that others can't afford. All of those privileges come at the expense of frontline workers — people who health experts and state governments have decided should get the COVID-19 vaccine first.

But doctors who are paid a premium to treat the rich and powerful say their clients are looking for ways to get ahead. Dr. Jeff Toll, who has admitting privileges at one of the first hospitals to stock the vaccine, told the Times that one patient asked "if I donate $25,000" to that hospital, "would that help me get in line?" Toll told the person no.

However, because many wealthy Americans pay for premium health care from "concierge doctors," they may still get vaccines earlier than most.


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