A healthy dose of justice: When the vaccine comes, a COVID vulnerability index can help achieve both

There’s been lively discussion about whether people will be willing to take a vaccine for COVID-19 when it becomes available. It’s a question each of us will have to answer for ourselves sooner or later. But the debate obscures a more complex reality: when an effective and safe vaccine finally arrives, it will initially be in scarce supply. No country or business has the manufacturing capacity to quickly provide enough doses for an entire population.

The big question we should be considering, therefore, is who should get vaccinated first, and who should be next in line thereafter? Do certain groups within the population deserve priority over others? And if so, what considerations should influence these decisions?

This is not the first time we’ve been faced with this type of “allocation problem.” Typically, vaccine allocation decisions are made with a view toward maximizing the overall health benefit: to achieve the greatest

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Barr Plans to Return to Justice Dept. After Negative Coronavirus Test Results

WASHINGTON — Attorney General William P. Barr did not plan to get a coronavirus test on Monday after receiving negative results from four tests and was likely to return to work at the Justice Department this week, his spokeswoman said.

Mr. Barr, who had attended an event at the White House on Sept. 26 linked to the outbreak, quarantined himself over the weekend and was at home on Monday with no symptoms, said the spokeswoman, Kerri Kupec.

She said that Mr. Barr would get tested​ on Tuesday and was likely to return to the office on Wednesday. That would be before the end of the 14-day quarantine period recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as Justice Department guidelines, but Ms. Kupec said the attorney general was considered a critical worker exempt from the C.D.C. guidelines.

Ms. Kupec said Mr. Barr, 70, “routinely wears masks and

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TIME100 Talks: Ibram X. Kendi on Racial and Health Justice

The historian and writer Ibram X. Kendi, whose research and work on antiracism have risen to the forefront amid a worldwide reckoning over systemic racism, was named as one of TIME’s most influential people of 2020. Speaking at a TIME100 Talks broadcast that aired Friday, Kendi emphasized the importance of keeping the focus on his work and the steps he has laid out to dismantle structural racism.

Among Kendi’s central arguments is that the root of racism isn’t people, but the policies that cause racial inequity and injustice. It’s those policies that we need to focus on changing, he says.

“Racist ideas make humans believe that there’s something wrong with other humans, that there’s something wrong with those other racial groups, there’s something wrong with those people who don’t look like us,” says Kendi.

One crucial sphere where Kendi is fighting for improvement is healthcare, where racist policies persist.

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