What other workers have asked when they will get it?

“Oh, only everyone,” she said. “Most people have prefaced their question with, ‘Of course I don’t think I should be ahead of the Covid I.C.U. staff who have been drinking from a fire hose since March. But our pediatric patients don’t stay reliably masked, perhaps we are at increased risk,’” she said, listing an example of one common question.

She said she had been telling people that everyone would eventually get vaccinated.

The question of when is a moving target. Dr. William Borden, chief quality and population health officer at G.W. Medical Faculty Associates in Washington, said that the doses it had received would not cover all of the workers in the top priority departments, but that he hoped to receive more soon.

Confusion over who goes first is not uncommon.

Ivan Phillips-Schmidt, a traveling nurse in Sioux Falls, S.D., was working in a hospital on Monday when he saw his manager collecting signatures from other workers to get the vaccine.

But when the manager got to Mr. Phillips-Schmidt, he said, she walked right past.

Mr. Phillips-Schmidt, 23, said he was later told that travel nurses — who work on temporary contracts and have been in high demand as hospitals run short on staffing — would not be vaccinated during Phase 1 of the distribution process. The hospital, Sanford Health, has not told him when Phase 2 begins.

“It makes me feel like I’m just not really valued or not worth protecting,” said Mr. Phillips-Schmidt, who said he was one of two traveling nurses in his department. “I’m doing everything that the staff nurses do — dozens, hundreds of Covid exposures.”

A spokeswoman for Sanford Health said that the hospital was not excluding travel nurses from receiving the vaccine, but that there was a scheduling problem that may have led to Mr. Phillips-Schmidt’s experience.



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