The List: Some government officials felt it was more important than others for the COVID-19 vaccine

A few days ago, the leading government officials who will be at the forefront of the line to be vaccinated were announced. The White House, leaders on Capitol Hill and in the judiciary will have priority dates for vaccination against COVID-19. It is part of the continuity of government planning.

This morning, Vice President Mike Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence, and the surgeon general came together to get their vaccinations on camera. Aside from the continuity of government continuity for Pence, it was a good move for the country’s top doc and vice president to lead by example and encourage everyone else to do the same when the vaccine becomes widely available.

National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot confirmed that priority will be given to senior government officials on COVID-19 vaccines. Officials in all three branches of government are included.

“Senior officials in all three branches of government receive vaccinations in accordance with the continuity of government protocols set out in executive policy,” Ullyot said in a statement. “The American people should be confident that they are receiving the same safe and effective vaccine as senior US government officials on the advice of health professionals and national security officials.”

A senior civil servant pointed out guidelines under Rule 40 of the President, which provides for parallel measures for the continuity of government in both the legislative and judicial branches when carried out by the executive branch.

The official said that in this case, people who are essential to the continuity of government, including Congress, should receive vaccines as a priority.

Attending Physician Brian Monahan and his Capitol Hill staff will be responsible for administering the vaccines. In the Senate, Roy Blunt, chairman of Senate Rules and Administration, said he spoke with Monahan about the process. At the time of the announcement that officials would receive the vaccines, the number of doses available was unclear. House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said discussions had been going on for some time even before the Pfizer vaccine was approved for the emergency.

“Of course, many qualify in terms of age groups at risk,” said Hoyer. “In addition, of course, it is crucial that we have Congress in a state of great immediacy in the face of the challenges we face.”

“I think there will be a lot of people in the Capitol who will cater to the needs of first responders and people with comorbidities and other things, and I think the more places you give, the better the vaccine will be available that you will be able to dispense The sooner we get to where we have ants, ”said Blunt last week.

Here’s the thing – vaccines are supposed to be distributed based on population and residence. In other words, the legislature gets its vaccines from allocation to its home state. Members of Congress retain their home state residence, as do many employees, even though they work in Washington, DC. It stresses that supplies are limited and only offered to those officials who are deemed most important to the proper functioning of the government. Your spouses are not on the list, by the way.

Dr. Monahan distributed a “Dear Colleague” letter to members of the House and some staff.

“My recommendation to you is absolutely clear: there is no reason why you should postpone receiving this vaccine,” said attending physician Brian P. Monahan in a “Dear Colleague” letter to the members and staff of the House late Thursday. “The benefits far outweigh any small risk.”

Monahan said there was a limited supply of vaccines and spouses in Congress are currently ineligible as the Capitol is being dosed to ensure continuity of government operations. Members are encouraged to make appointments to receive the Pfizer / BioNTech-made vaccine in the Rayburn building.

“Once we have completed the member vaccination, we will be following a process over the coming weeks to identify the continuity essentials in the various departments of the Capitol community,” wrote Monahan. “The appointment process will then continue until the small vaccine supply is exhausted. A second dose planning process then begins later. “

On Thursday evening, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed that he had received the vaccination, citing his own correspondence with Dr. Monahan will perform. He said even with the vaccine, he would continue to follow coronavirus guidelines like wearing a face mask and social distancing. Spokesman Pelosi said she would do the same in the next few days. Senate President Pro Tempore Charles E. Grassley has not yet announced his decision.

“Due to government continuity requirements, I was informed by the attending physician’s office that I was eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, which I will accept in the coming days,” said the Kentucky Republican who survived polio in one Opinion.

“I will also continue to follow suit with a vaccine [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] Guidelines by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and frequent hand washing. I strongly encourage everyone to continue to follow these important guidelines, ”said 78-year-old McConnell. “This is the only way we can defeat COVID-19 once and for all.”

It’s still not clear if there will be a vaccine allotment for this purpose, as only five federal departments and agencies have announced special shipments. “The small number of COVID19 vaccine doses that are made available to us reflects a fraction of the first tranche of vaccines distributed across the country,” wrote the attending physician. The National Security Council said in a statement Sunday that top officials in all three branches would have priority for vaccines. The District of Columbia Department of Health announced that the vaccine doses will not come from their allocation.

Army General Gustave Perna, Warp Speed’s chief operating officer, said five federal agencies have their own assignments – Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, Department of State, Indian Health Services, and Federal Prisons Bureau.

Pence’s dose is believed to have come from his native Indiana allotment. Same goes for Biden’s dose, which will come from the Delaware grant. Biden says he’ll be vaccinated next week. A Supreme Court spokesman said the court was aware of the NSC’s statement on vaccines for the judges but did not provide details. Chief Justice John G. Roberts and Majority Leader of the House, Steny H. Hoyer, are both Maryland residents and are not on the priority list due to limited supply to Maryland. When it comes down to it, I would assume the Supreme Court Chief Justice occupies a higher rank than the Majority Leader of the House, though Hoyer’s age puts him in the high risk category. Many in all three industries are at high risk simply because of their age. It will be interesting to see who makes the first cut for vaccines. There are lots of big egos on Capitol Hill. All should do this on camera too, to let their voters know that taking the vaccine is an important step in treating the coronavirus pandemic.

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