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Stanford's resident doctors largely cut out of first COVID-19 vaccinations

Original post made on Dec 18, 2020

When Stanford Health Care gave the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Friday, most of its resident physicians, many of whom are on the frontlines, weren't among those being inoculated, according to a letter to hospital leadership.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, December 18, 2020, 6:05 PM

Comments (21)

Posted by John
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 18, 2020 at 6:17 pm

John is a registered user.

The article omits: WHO DID get the first allocation of the vaccine? If the residents didn't get it, WHO did get it? The cynic in me, wonders...did the "old timers", well established Palo Alto'ians get it who work at Stanford?


Posted by BL
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 18, 2020 at 7:02 pm

BL is a registered user.

Dr. Niraj L. Sehgal, If you truly feel terrible about this then resign. How awful that Stanford didn’t prioritize its frontline residents and fellows.


Posted by parent
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 18, 2020 at 7:47 pm

parent is a registered user.

Typical Stanford. Unless you are a well known, tenured professor or doctor, Stanford considers you disposable. They abuse alot of their graduate students and teachers who are not tenured. They want only the "best" so unless you have established your self elsewhere, or on track to win a Nobel as a Stanford researcher, they are treated as cogs in the wheel. Easily to be replaced by others willing to come to Stanford for the name, to then be replaced themselves by others.


Posted by parent
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 18, 2020 at 7:52 pm

parent is a registered user.

The priority for the Stanford Hospital medical staff is getting publications. More publications, greater "prestige", easier to raise more money and keep expanding. Treating patients is just a way to get enough clinical data to submit in their publications, and show how Stanford is on the cutting edge. If you are looking for individual, compassionate care, look elsewhere.


Posted by JR McDugan
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 18, 2020 at 8:20 pm

JR McDugan is a registered user.

This is effectively a protest over nothing. With a few weeks, all health care workers who want a vaccine (including residents) will get one. Residents are typically under 30 years old and usually don't suffer severe symptoms from C19 anyway. Why not protest something meaningful instead, like Stanford furloughing health care workers despite sitting on a $26 billion dollar endowment?


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 18, 2020 at 9:07 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Stanford's getting lots of national press over this, with an entire story package on Google News.

And with the 60 Minutes expose of Sutter/PAMF's practices and the problematic Palo Alto city testing program as described by Diana Diamond, we're not looking too good.


Posted by Stephen Voss
a resident of another community
on Dec 19, 2020 at 1:04 am

Stephen Voss is a registered user.

Stanford must immediately provide vaccination for every nurse, resident, and other person now putting their life on the line for covid 19 patients. Its conscious ongoing disregard for these people covers Stanford with shame. As a Stanford PhD I feel the shame myself.
Dear Stanford: Fix the disaster. Now.


Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 19, 2020 at 8:59 am

Annette is a registered user.

I agree with the resident who defined this as indefensible. And, to borrow a word from our mayor, it is "rich" that Stanford would blame an algorithm. Stanford! I don't buy it; an algorithm for something this important and this new had to have been written recently by people who are expert at doing such things and then tested. This is Stanford. Tech Central. The explanation is kind of pathetic. It also raises questions. Those administrators and doctors who got it know they are not on the front line; where are their voices in this? Why is it that those who should have gotten the vaccine but didn't needed to raise their voices in protest while those who shouldn't have gotten it but did apparently kept their silence and rec'd something so badly needed by those on the front line? Who cares about an apology - get the vaccine to those working so hard to give comfort and save lives.


Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 19, 2020 at 9:09 am

Nayeli is a registered user.

Why would Stanford use an algorithm when frontline essential workers are readily identifiable? After all, they are medical employees.


Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 19, 2020 at 1:12 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

I predicted this (see other threads), though not specifically predicting Stanford would prioritize known, well-connected people.
CA is in a disease crisis and CA medical professionals directly treating (contagious) disease = Covid MUST be prioritized.
Blaming an algorithm is childish.
Hadn’t Administration planned for the vaccination rollout!? (and with clear prioritization) as time is of the essence. Seems this is basic common sense. Yes, I respect they’re busy but vaccinating crucial medical staff seems obvious to me. They have job titles, departments, specialties, locations, Covid or non Covid work.


Posted by Nancy RN
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 19, 2020 at 3:08 pm

Nancy RN is a registered user.

There needs to be an outside investigation into what really happened. All the C level suits let their people down & David Entwistle - you are not our colleague. Patient facing licensed clinicians are our colleagues. People are not calling the switchboard asking for us to be fired, people are asking for you to be fired. Pushing out to the public that an 'algorithm' went out unchecked and was the result of 'crossed wires' is the most pathetic story and does not justify the over-pumped salaries of the worst leadership team we have ever had.

Nursing administration is also culpable. There needs to be an audit of travel & magnet expenses because their focus has not been on ethical and responsible care of their employees. Ironically, this is the biggest fail in transformational leadership ever. AND Trish Britt gets an award for working on the COVID team and pastes self congratulation all over linkedin? More time spent on making certain your nurses are taken care of?? or maybe check the 'algorithm' to prevent 'crossed wires'.

Clinicians care for patients under a scope of licensure and ethics. We have been pressured to step up and we have. This is not whining that we didn't get on the list it is ethical outrage that your 'algorithms' put so many non-patient facing leaders at the top of the list and worse - they took it without concern for even considering their employees. CEO - fail, CNO - fail, University - fail. External independent inquiry.


Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 19, 2020 at 4:05 pm

Annette is a registered user.

@NancyRN from Midtown: go ahead and whine if you are a patient-facing clinician who was passed over while others who are not caring for patients were vaccinated. Whine, complain, do what you must to keep the issue front and center until those responsible for this fiasco remedy the situation and put in place safeguards to make sure the "error" is not repeated.

And if you are a patient-facing clinician: thank you. Society owes all who are on the medical front lines an enormous debt of gratitude.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 19, 2020 at 5:38 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Echoing Annette here! Thank you for all you do and let's keep this front and center, esp. since Stanford had the nerve to cut the salaries of the hard-working healthcare professionals earlier this year, when you're risking your own health and safety to serve others.

How shameful that Stanford could insult your service and everyone's intelligence with an excuse like "the computer made me do it" couched in slightly more sophisticated language.


Posted by blah
a resident of another community
on Dec 19, 2020 at 5:41 pm

blah is a registered user.

I am not sure why anyone is surprised by this. It wasn't THAT long ago that Stanford forced its staff to take a 20% pay cut to preserve its financial health.

Web Link


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 19, 2020 at 6:15 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

@blah, mot surprised, just disgusted. But you bring up and interesting point: maybe Stanford should rescind the pay cut they made "due to Covid" AND give them a bonus "due to Covid."


Posted by Puuuuuulease
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 21, 2020 at 11:09 am

Puuuuuulease is a registered user.

It's easy to apologize AFTER you've already received the vaccine. That's hysterical. We all know the phrase: it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

This was no accident or algorithm mistake. And what's even more absurd is that Stanford thinks anyone is going to buy that excuse given, as Annette has already nicely articulated, we are surrounded by tech experts.


Posted by EmmaP
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 21, 2020 at 11:55 am

EmmaP is a registered user.

I hope a fairly hefty proportion of the first batch of the vaccine went to the nurses. Note that there wasn't enough vaccine in the first batch to jab everyone in the hospital so some sort of algorithm is needed (weighing risk of catching, risk of suffering severe or fatal effects from Covid-19, essentialness, and probably some other factors). The algorithm doesn't seem to have been sanity checked ahead of time.
<blockquote>
The residents said they were not included due to an algorithm the hospital followed because they don't have a "location," such as being assigned to a specific nursing unit or nursing emergency department unit, and thus received zero points in the algorithm. Age was also a factor, and the residents received fewer points because they are younger, according to the email.</blockquote>
Age makes sense so the failure on how to properly handle no "location" seems to be the major design error. I do wonder whether this means other employees or contract workers not assigned to a specific "location" but still working in locations where exposure is likely are also being overlooked.


Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 21, 2020 at 11:36 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

It gets worse...early anti mask, Covid denier Senator Marco Rubio (not elderly) receives vaccine as well as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is a young woman.
Not to mention they get the high quality Pfizer vaccine (which I would also like, since that is a very reputable large established company - as opposed to later questionable vaccines like Astra Zeneca/Oxford, which have reported scary problems and I swear I read may be combined with a - get this - Russian vaccine!? -
These will may provided to many of us — Q3? - at the end of the line in California.
Expectations of the general public are increasingly getting managed by Dr. Fauci and others, have you noticed? - hazy timelines for us regular folks w/o power or identity groups.
Hilarious jockeying of special interest groups lobbying for their workers to get priority. Uber?!
I don’t pretend to know much about vaccines (but I am educated and read) - so it IS clear, of course, frontline medical/healthcare workers are at risk and must be first in line.
But politicians, their pals, families (various ages), paper-shuffling administrators, bureaucrats (of various ages) ....(even the governor has a lieutenant governor to take over if he goes out of state, falls ill, etc.), random unions...appear to be already getting vaccinated - why should they be prioritized over those of us who are under 75, but as middle-aged...by AGE we are more at serious risk compared to: twenty-somethings, forty-somethings, fifty-somethings?
Who is “essential.”
Who are priority groups...
Why are younger prioritized!? (UNLESS truly front line workers, of course).
Why are late middle-aged listed behind felons, undocumented and twenty-somethings (unless State of California vaccination plan has changed since I uncovered it several weeks ago)!? At the time I was stunned to read New York Times search function find your place in line to discover California places me last.
Yes, I have emailed my government representatives. They don’t have any interest in me (turning 60 shortly). I have paid a lot of taxes to this state and hope to leave. The idea that felons and undocumented are more valued over me is sickening. To be clear, I suppirt prison WORKERS getting vaccinated well before me.
Sorry for the rant.
I wish I lived in Vermont along with Bernie Sanders - bet I’d be vaccinated in a reasonable number of months.
California government sucks.


Posted by Lee Forrest
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 22, 2020 at 10:17 am

Lee Forrest is a registered user.

From the land that brought us Covid-19, another new virus to be wary of...

Web Link


Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 24, 2020 at 1:06 pm

The Voice of Palo Alto is a registered user.

Statement by the useless Stanford Administrators: “Oops! Sorry about that! I hope you all understand it was all just because of this pesky algorithm error that led to absolutely no frontline workers but all useless administrators to be vaccinated. I mean those kind of errors are just bound to happen with some of the greatest minds working here at STANFORD. But still we are all nice and safely vaccinated and you are all not. Please accept this even more useless apology and thank you for all of your understanding. Now get back to work and hang in there for a few more weeks until we get the next batch of vaccine.”

“This is effectively a protest over nothing. With a few weeks, all health care workers who want a vaccine (including residents) will get one.”

No it’s not. Stop downplaying it. It’s the principle of what took place here, and what took place here was an absolute disgrace.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 24, 2020 at 1:48 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Yup. Their letter concludes,"We remain grateful for your steadfast support of our Stanford Medicine community."

Stop downplaying it AND making unfounded assumptions about your community. Time to tweak those algorithms again.


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