Given the mounting frustration over the slow pace of vaccinations, yesterday’s HHS announcement broadening the distribution and prioritization for Covid vaccines came as little surprise. Unfortunately, more rapid deployment of vaccines might not stem the risk of litigation from those looking to assert blame for delays and other glitches in treatment. At a stage that could mark an endgame for the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to clarify legal protections so health providers devote their time and attention to patients instead of fending off lawsuits.
The unprecedented rollout of Covid-19 vaccines is logistically challenging. It may even lead to criminal acts — consider the Wisconsin hospital pharmacist arrested over the holidays for purposely leaving 500 doses of Moderna’s vaccine unrefrigerated, knowing that could render them unusable. Such rogues deserve full prosecution.