WSJ: Start sequencing vaccinations from oldest to youngest … period!

“Basing eligibility on age from now on is the scientific, and least political, method.”

That’s the WSJ’s recommendation for cleaning up the jurisdictionally variable, logistically complicated and politically charged vaccine rationing system(s) that are currently slowing the rate of vaccinations and frustrating eager vax hunters (like me).

The WSJ’s editorial’s guiding premise:

Workers who interact with the public face a higher risk of getting Covid than those who don’t.

But households are bigger spreaders than workplaces.

And age is the most severely consequential risk factor.


More specifically, the WSJ editorial asks:

> Who isn’t “essential”?

The list of “essential” workers has grown to virtual meaninglessness, including those who “work in transportation and logistics, food service, housing construction and finance, information technology, communications, energy, law, media, public safety, and public health.

By that definition, who isn’t essential”

See our prior post: What do lawyers, prisoners and ‘the media” have in common? 


> Got political connections?

Initially, it was just COVID-exposed healthcare workers and 1st responders.

But, it didn’t take long for unions and other occupational groups to start flexing their political muscles.

The SEIU pushed for workers such as janitors to be considered “essential”.

Industry groups including hotels, airlines and ride-share companies began lobbying states to have their workers vaccinated first.

Now, predictably, teachers’ unions are trying to cut to the front of the line and are blackmailing politicians by refusing to reopen schools.


> How risky is your medical condition?

No question, some comorbidity factors make a person more vulnerable to severe COVID consequences.

But, like the list of essential  occupations, the initial list of meaningful health conditions (e.g. serious heart or pulmonary diseases) quickly expanded.

Now, some of the qualifying criteria are head-scratching (e.g. slightly overweight, habitual smoking)  … while others aren’t considered serious enough (e.g. deficient immune systems, oncological history).

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


> How to verify eligibility?

Age is easy to verify via driver’s licenses, passports, birth certificates, and the like.

But, how to verify a person’s occupational eligibility?

A person may flash a hospital ID, but how to know if they are an ER or COVID-treating nurse or a hospital IT employee who is working from home during the pandemic?

What about teachers who  have been teaching in-person for months, versus those who have no intention of returning to the classroom any time soon?  How to determine whether a teacher is really heading back to the classroom?

Similarly, how to verify a person’s legitimate  comorbidities? Take their word for it? Require a doctor’s note?

Given the stakes, it’s no surprise that stories abound of people claiming eligibility that may pass bureaucratic muster with the letter of the law … but certainly not the spirit of the law


The WSJ’s bottom line:

Basing eligibility in stages from oldest to youngest from now on is simple, scientific and fair.

As supply increases, this will be the fastest way to inoculate the most people, reduce demands on the health-care system, and allow more businesses to reopen.

Interest groups will complain, but so what?

The public will understand and politicians won’t take the inevitable grief for favoritism.

It’s like music to my ears….


P.S. West Virginia has been one of the top states re: vaccination efficiency.

One of the foundation principles that WV adopted was age-based prioritization — starting at age 80, then systematically lowering the age threshold.

And, WV only gives priority to “essential workers” who are over 50.

4 Responses to “WSJ: Start sequencing vaccinations from oldest to youngest … period!”

  1. Wichita Genealogist Says:

    One option I read about online is there are two major vaccines. One has to be used in 2 hours once it’s taken out. The other one is 12 hours once it’s taken out. Some people go to a place giving out either vaccine and form a line to see if the extra vaccines are going to be thrown out due to the limited time to use them. Quite a few have gotten the vaccine early that way. Once they run out of the vaccines that have to be thrown away if not used timely, they close the doors. I have seen various media outlets share this option.

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

    […] See Start sequencing vaccinations from oldest to youngest … period! […]

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

    […] Start sequencing vaccinations from oldest to youngest … period! and So, why is West Virginia kicking other states […]

  4. Connecticut is “de-complicating” and adopting West Virginia’s vaccination model… | The Homa Files Says:

    […] See WSJ: Start sequencing vaccinations from oldest to youngest … period! […]

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