OPINION: Moral Tragedy Looms In Early Chaos Of U.S. COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
Added 01-16-21 07:07:02am EST - “As states suddenly expand the categories of people eligible for the first scarce shipments of vaccine, who will be watching to make sure those hit hardest by the pandemic aren't left behind?” - Npr.org
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People lined up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination site in Disneyland's parking lot in Anaheim, Calif. on Jan. 13. The state says all residents 65 or older are now eligible to receive the vaccine. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption
People lined up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination site in Disneyland's parking lot in Anaheim, Calif. on Jan. 13. The state says all residents 65 or older are now eligible to receive the vaccine.
On April 12, 1955, a wave of public relief resonated across the United States as news arrived of a vaccine that could successfully prevent polio — one of the most feared diseases in the U.S. at the time, causing "more than 15,000 cases of paralysis a year," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To the terror of parents, many of those paralyzed or killed by polio were children.
Jonas Salk and his research team announced that their vaccine against the virus was safe and effective; the federal government quickly gave official approval, and vaccination distribution began across the U.S. within weeks.
But collective relief soon gave way to frustration. There were simply not enough doses of the vaccine to go around at the start. Even worse, the available doses weren't going to the groups deemed most in need; instead, people who were socially well-connected and wealthy were finding ways to jump the line.
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