ALEXANDRIA, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - FOX 5 is learning more about concerns coming from staff and doctors at a pediatric office in Northern Virginia where say they too should be a priority in getting the coronavirus vaccination. Right now, frontline healthcare workers in hospitals are at the top of the list.
A doctor at The Kidz Docs office is making the assertion that even though the facility is not under INOVA’s umbrella nor affiliated with INOVA, staffers and doctors say they should be able to receive the coronavirus vaccine now, not later.
Dr. Ann Tannous says, "Initially we were very excited for him and for her, but as we thought about it more, we didn’t understand how somebody who has no patient care, who sits in an office all day – does not see patients, either directly or indirectly, would get priority over the rest of us, who we continue to see patients in the office, we see sick patients. We swab them for COVID, and so we- we are at risk."
The issue of healthcare workers not receiving the coronavirus vaccine is reportedly widespread.
The American Academy of Pediatrics tells us they’ve received at least 25 similar complaints.
Tannous says she and others reached out to several entities, including the state health department and congressional leaders, to raise this issue and that after several calls and emails, the Fairfax Health Department did inform them late last week they could now sign-up online to receive the vaccine.
INOVA says it received its initial distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine early last week and has begun vaccination of frontline team members providing care and support to patients based on initial prioritization guidelines.
In a statement, INOVA goes on to say: "Initial vaccines were prioritized for health systems across the Commonwealth, with additional allocations expected over the next few weeks for other healthcare workers and first responders."
Michael Martin, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics Virginia Chapter says, "To build trust particularly with the nonemployed physicians that are exactly caring for patients... becomes really important."
INOVA did not address this specific complaint but did say in response they’re balancing the availability and national delivery of the vaccines while also developing the processes for administration.
They also say their only employed pediatrics practice is the Inova Cares Clinic for Children, though they have many credentialed pediatric providers that currently qualify for the vaccination and they’ll continue to work closely with the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health.