VAX: Eat, drink, smoke … and move to the front of the line.

According to the Washington Post

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DC has announced that it will offer vaccines to people whose weight (BMI > 25)  or medical history (including “habitual smoking”) would not otherwise qualify them for early access to the vaccine in almost any state in the country.

The rationale: Those persons might suffer serious outcomes if they contract the virus.

Again, DC’s obesity criteria: a BMI greater than 25.

By that measure, half of DC’s adult population qualifies as obese.

For example, a person 5’6” weighing more than 155 has a BMI > 25.

So does a person who is 6 feet tall and weighs more than 185 pounds

Click here to calculate your BMI.

The consensus of health experts: DC’s criteria are set too low … that the cut-off should be a BMI of 40 (extreme risk) or 30 (significant risk).

Proponents of the weight criteria argue that it provides wider access for poorer DC residents who tend towards obesity, with 72% having BMIs over 25.

But, opponents point out that DC is already controlling vax distribution by zip code residency — with explicit preference given to poorer neighborhoods.

Teaching point: there’s no need for a proxy measure (like BMI) if there’s a direct control variable (like preferential zip code restrictions).

So, why announce a silly sounding policy?

If everybody is a priority, then nobody is a priority.

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To be fair

DC is also trying to close some loopholes.

For example,  vaccination appointments are available for teachers and staff at DC Public Schools but … only those who are already working in person or who will be returning in person for Term 3.

That policy will be tough to enforce, but the intention is good.

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Related post:

What do lawyers, prisoners and ‘the media” have in common?
Answer: They’re all ahead of me in line for COVID vax shots

3 Responses to “VAX: Eat, drink, smoke … and move to the front of the line.”

  1. WSJ: Start sequencing vaccinations from oldest to youngest … period! | The Homa Files Says:

    […] See our prior post: VAX: Eat, drink, smoke … and move to the front of the line. […]

  2. VAX: So, why is West Virginia kicking other states butts? | The Homa Files Says:

    […] See What do lawyers, prisoners and ‘the media” have in common? and Eat, drink, smoke … and move to the front of the line. […]

  3. VAX: Breaking thru the vaccination bottlenecks… | The Homa Files Says:

    […] See What do lawyers, prisoners and ‘the media” have in common? and Eat, drink, smoke … and move to the front of the line. […]

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