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The Nordic countries have differed in their approach as to how much priority for COVID19 vaccine access should be given to health care workers. Two countries decided not to give health care workers highest priority, raising some controversy. The rationale was that those at highest risk of dying needed to come first. However, when it comes to protecting those at the highest risk of dying from COVID19, their needs and vulnerabilities need to be considered more broadly than just in terms of the individual protection that vaccination will afford them. Likewise, when considering whether to prioritize health care workers for the vaccine, their crucial role in keeping the health care system operational, and right to a safe work environment need to be factored in. Below we review several ethical arguments for why frontline health care workers and first responders should receive priority access to the COVID19 vaccine.
Thorsteinsdottir, B., & Madsen, B. E. (2021). Prioritizing health care workers and first responders for access to the COVID19 vaccine is not unethical, but both fair and effective – an ethical analysis. Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, 29(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13049-021-00886-2