People Should Not Get The Vaccine If They Are Not In A Priority Group

Ana Martinez, Feature/Design Editor

The beginning of 2021 marks a crucial moment of the pandemic as COVID-19 vaccinations begin to roll out. As a result, many individuals claim to be a part of priority groups and have selfishly jumped the lines to receive their vaccination, keeping those who actually need it from receiving the vaccine.

The problem of jumping the line has stemmed from the high demand for vaccines but limited doses available; according to the American Association of Retired Persons, health care workers, frontline essential workers, Americans ages 65 and older or ages 16 to 64 with high-risk conditions remain in the current top three vaccine-priority groups eligible for the vaccine. This number totals 202 million people, leaving an additional 131 million Americans out of the picture — for now. 

Consequently, people would like to get the vaccine, even if they do not qualify to get one. People with connections to company leaders or doctors who can write them an invalid qualification note and customers of concierge medical service have found loopholes to receive a vaccine. 

San Francisco-based One Medical has allocated thousands of doses to unqualified patients, according to an internal communications leak to NPR. Moreover, notable figures such as SoulCycle instructor Stacey Griffith, whose followers include Kelly Ripa and Madonna, have received the vaccine as an “educator,” causing public outcry. 

On a more local level, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order allowing “extremely vulnerable” individuals to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Days after the order, the Department of Health posted a form for physicians that does not require an explanation of the medical condition. 

The result of these actions has proved detrimental to those genuinely eligible for a vaccine. The inconsistency of Florida’s policies towards those eligible for the vaccine has opened the door for ineligible citizens to receive the vaccine. During a time where elderly individuals struggle in signing up for a vaccine, ineligible individuals should not try to further take this limited opportunity from them. 

While some people even argue that the vaccine should be given to all since the goal is to reach herd immunity, taking away the vaccine from someone who needs it could have serious potential implications if they get COVID-19. 

Eventually, all Americans will qualify to receive the COVID vaccine: experts predict herd immunity by summer 2021, according to CNN. However, because policies to receive a vaccine remain inconsistent, one must take matters into their own hands: wait one’s turn to receive the vaccine and educate others about getting a vaccine at the right time to help those who need it.