Skipping the Vaccine Line and Other Covid-19 Conundrums

If you have the chance to snatch up a vaccine, do you take it?

Photo: MediaNews Group/Getty Images

We all know the stats: Black folks are more susceptible to Covid-19 but currently have less access to the actual vaccines. The reasons for both of these things can be boiled down to systemic racism, so we don’t need to delve into that for the millionth time. What is curious to me though, is the idea of vaccine shaming Black and Brown folks who have the opportunity to get their own.

I mean, if the vaccine needs to be administered and there are extras and you are taking grandma to get her shot and you are the last folks of the day and a vaccine is about to expire and is available to you provided you take it in the next 10 minutes, would you take it? Or would you fall back and say they should try to get someone off the website to drive in immediately and take it in the next, now, nine minutes? If you take that vaccine have you jumped the line? Or are you being responsible in taking the opportunity to get a vaccine so it won’t go to waste?

That said, it seems that the people who are line jumping via bribes and being married to the right people are largely not Black and Brown. USA Today detailed one person’s account of that perfectly here. But that doesn’t mean that some of us aren’t taking advantage when the opportunity presents itself. Some of us are stalking our phones for a callback date for the shot while others aren’t interested in the vaccine for one reason or another. It’s gotten to the point now where some folks are afraid to post that they got a shot, lest they get 20 questions about how exactly they qualified. (And honestly is it anyone’s business if you have a heart condition or asthma or are recovering from chemo?) The shaming one way or the other should stop as well, in my humble opinion.

Of course a bunch of folks won’t have these ethical dilemmas as many simply don’t want the vaccine to begin with. As Elemental writes, there is a history of mistrust that has to be dealt with, and that history exists outside of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As far as the ethics of skipping the line, watch for this story to grow larger and larger as spring approaches. Already, multiple foundations and organizations are condemning folks who intentionally seek to skip their place in the vaccine line due to privilege and access to higher-ups.

Where do you fall in this hypothetical situation? If given the chance to hurry up, show up, and take the vaccine — otherwise they will throw out the dose — would you take it? Or are you team wait your official turn? Let us know in the comments below.

Director, Multicultural @Medium. Focusing on ZORA, Momentum, Level and bolstering creators of color. All ideas welcome. And yes, I’ll still be writing.

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