Nearly half of global respondents to a poll by GlobalData believe that those in high-risk groups such as the elderly and patients with co-morbidities should get first access to a COVID-19 vaccine once it is available. Around 20 per cent believe that those in high-risk geographic areas with high infection rates should get a vaccine first, while a third of respondents believe that there should be equal access to everyone regardless of risk level or geography.
Johanna Swanson, Product Manager at GlobalData, comments, “High-risk groups have seen the highest mortality rate during the pandemic, and introducing a vaccine of even modest efficacy in this group could significantly reduce mortality and the need for hospitalisation, greatly relieving stresses already seen on healthcare systems and economies. High-risk groups include older patients, those with pre-existing conditions, and at-risk ethnicities.
“It is uncertain how a geographical basis for distribution will play out politically in areas where infection rates are high but where personal protection such as masks have been politicised.
“Healthcare workers should be prioritised for COVID-19 vaccination due to their close contact to COVID-19 patients and its concomitant higher risk of contracting and spreading the virus. Protected healthcare workers would also prevent a shortage of workers should the virus peak in an area. Consideration should be given to those who provide aid and care to senior citizens, along with police officers and firefighters.”