The Birx Plan for Early Vaccination of the Nursing Houses

In Covid in the nursing homes: the US experience, Markus Bjoerkheim and I present that the Nice Barrington “targeted safety” plan was unlikely to have labored. I covered this last week. However there was one technique which may have saved tens of hundreds of lives–early vaccination. If the vaccine trials had been accomplished simply 5 weeks earlier, for instance, we may have saved 14 thousand lives within the nursing properties alone. However put apart the opportunity of finishing the trials earlier. There was one other real looking chance underneath our noses. We had may have supplied nursing house residents the vaccine on a compassionate use foundation, i.e. even earlier than all of the scientific trials had been accomplished. An early vaccination possibility was neither unprecedented nor a query of 20-20 hindsight, early vaccination was mentioned on the time:

Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White Home Coronavirus Job Drive, forcefully advocated that nursing house residents must be given the choice of being vaccinated earlier underneath a compassionate use authorization (Borrell, 2022). Many different therapies, akin to convalescent plasma, had been licensed underneath compassionate use procedures and there was greater than sufficient vaccine obtainable to vaccinate all nursing house residents. As a primary approximation we discover the Birx plan would have prevented within the order of 200,000 nursing house instances and 40,000 nursing house deaths. To place that in perspective, it quantities to lowering general nursing house Covid deaths by over 26 per cent (utilizing all CMS reported resident nursing house deaths as of 5 December 2021, and estimates of underreported deaths from Shen et al. (2021)).

The lesson just isn’t primarily in regards to the previous. It’s in regards to the central significance of vaccines in any plan to guard the weak and about how we must be bolder and braver the subsequent time.

Addendum: See additionally Tyler’s tremendous post (additional beneath) on targeted safety.

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