Bribing doctors. Circulating vaccination appointment codes. Chartering planes and impersonating essential workers.
More than a month since the U.S. first began administering COVID-19 vaccines, many people who were not supposed to be first in line have received vaccinations. Anecdotal reports suggest some people have deliberately leveraged widespread vulnerabilities in the distribution process to acquire vaccine. Others were just in the right place at the right time.
“There’s dozens and dozens of these stories, and they really show that the rollout was a complete disaster in terms of selling fairness,” said Arthur Caplan, who heads the medical ethics division at the NYU School of Medicine. “It wasn’t that we didn’t have consensus (on who should go first). We didn’t pay attention to logistics, and that drove distribution, not rules.”
The efforts of one particular couple may take the cake for most extravagant scheme to get vaccinated.
Last month, casino executive Rodney Baker and his wife, actress Ekaterina Baker, chartered a plane to a remote community in Canada where health workers were administering vaccine to vulnerable members of the White River First Nation. The two posed as local motel employees and received vaccinations, according to a member of the Yukon Legislative Assembly. They now face fines.
“Like so many, I’m shocked and angry, but not surprised,” Kluane Adamek, Yukon Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said in a statement at the time. “These actions are a blatant display of disrespect and an exemplification of true privilege and entitlement; a selfish millionaire and his wife, stole doses of the vaccine from a vulnerable population, and put an entire community, nation and region at risk.”
Nearly 13 million people in the U.S. – about 5% of the U.S. population aged 16 years and older – received at least one dose of vaccine during the first month of vaccine rollout, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Monday.
The agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended initially prioritizing vaccinations for the estimated 24 million health care personnel and long-term care facility residents in the U.S. But states and local authorities implemented varying versions of that national guidance. Florida and Texas, for example, expanded their vaccination programs to all people 65 and older.
Among people who received a first dose, 63% were women, 55% were 50 and older, and 60% were non-Hispanic white, according to the CDC. Those numbers “likely” reflect the demographic characteristics of health care personnel and longterm care facility residents recommended to be vaccinated in the priority group, the CDC said.
But the agency is missing data on race and ethnicity for about half of vaccine recipients, and it’s unclear what proportion of the recipients were health…
Go to the news source: Some people cutting, bribing before their turn