State Prioritizes Race to Determine Who Gets Emergency COVID Treatment

State Prioritizes Race to Determine Who Gets Emergency COVID Treatment

( – Since COVID-19 began, there have been many battles over which patients doctors should treat first for the virus and just what drugs and procedures they should use to do so. Now, one state is calculating who gets a monoclonal antibody treatment based on a points system, which includes prioritization for BIPOC individuals.

On Thursday, December 23, the Minnesota Department of Health updated its document titled “Ethical Framework for Allocation of Monoclonal Antibodies during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” which outlines how to allocate and prioritize patients in need of the treatment. Specifically, the framework will use an adaptation of the Mayo Clinic’s Monoclonal Antibody Screening Score (MASS), but with the addition of BIPOC and Pregnant person prioritization.

The state of Minnesota will prioritize patients who:

  • Are over 65 years of age
  • Have a high Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Have preexisting conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, or kidney disease
  • Are immunocompromised
  • Are pregnant
  • Are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color)

One American shared their view on the new guidelines:

According to these guidelines, if two pregnant women with no preexisting conditions arrive in need of treatment at the hospital, the hospital staff will prioritize the BIPOC woman over the white woman. For some, this raised potential concerns about discrimination against white people. However, they justify it through a framework citing a study from the University of Minnesota that shows BIPOC patients “were independently associated with poor clinical outcomes from COVID-19 infection.”

Hopefully, Minnesota doesn’t get to the point of turning people away from treatment based on their race, but after the past two years, no one knows what to expect anymore.

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