As California rolls out the coronavirus vaccine, the state government is confused about selecting the people that should get the vaccine on priority. They have to make sure that they do not come out as a government that makes biased decisions.
The advocates of groups of people that have been historically marginalized and greatly affected by the virus are urging that less privileged should get the vaccine first. These groups include laborers in the meatpacking industry that are undocumented, farmworkers in the Central Valley, and people in overcrowded prisons.
Now the real challenge lies in addressing the systemic inequalities in such hard times. Janel Bailey said that this is a tough decision as you have to decide whose lives matter the most.
Pfizer provided California with many doses of vaccine on Monday in this first phase of its distribution. The healthcare workers along with residents of long-term facilities are being provided with the vaccine on a priority basis.
After this phase, the next one would be focused on essential workers and other people that are at a high risk as Dr. Tony Iton was worried. But the details of this phase have not been given yet, because it may lead to a panic state.
Aquilina Soriano is worried about the undocumented caregivers who have suffered from COVID-19. Soriano believes that they have not been provided with the support they need, because of their immigration status and jobs.
According to some officials, the farmworkers should be given priority as they are on the frontline, helping to feed the nation. It is a challenge to reach these workers as they change jobs regularly and also work in isolation.
In these desperate times, it would be better if the vaccination starts as soon as possible. It would be a challenge though as the vaccine should be stored at a temperature of -70C and should be given in two doses to be effective.
Prisons are highly vulnerable as the guards and another staff qualifies as being essential workers. It is unclear whether the prisoners would get the vaccine or not though as around 30 thousand state prisoners have been a victim of the virus.
Then homeless people living in shelters are also at high risk and should be given priority because they are exposed to the virus all the time. Some people are reluctant to take the vaccine and are having a hard time trusting the government with it and even held anti-mask rallies in Washington.