Unfair and entitled – that’s how many describe people crossing the line and getting the vaccine before they qualify.
Many know at least one person exaggerating their health condition or their boss classifying them as front-line workers to jump the line – experts call hyper-competitive behavior the “hunger game for vaccines.”
Karla Salazar, a childcare worker in San Francisco, described how long it would take some people to get the COVID-19 vaccine as “crazy,” including lying about being an essential worker.
“They say, ‘oh I work as a nurse’ and they take badges from friends,” she said.
On Monday, millions more Californians with serious health conditions and disabilities became eligible for the vaccine.
San Francisco goes a step further to include the homeless, inmates and others in high-risk congregational settings.
But because vaccines are open to more people, so are the opportunities for more queues and vaccine fraud.
“This is a competition, and it shouldn’t be,” said UCSF Epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford. “I think people should have a bigger societal goal in mind which is to stop transmission.”
He said taking an appointment from someone living in a high-transmission area made the pandemic harder to fight.
“We don’t want a hunger game for vaccines,” said Rutherford. “There is logic to this, and please wait your turn.”
“It’s not fair,” said Soon Tani Beccaria Mochizuki from San Francisco. “People who really need the vaccine deserve it first.”
Others say vaccinating anyone will help us gain herd immunity.
“You know what? The more people who get vaccinated, that’s all that matters,” said Shawn Gupta of San Francisco. “It’s better for all of us, so let’s just get over it.”
The city of San Francisco requires everyone to tick a box and sign their name swearing they qualify for a vaccine, but some say relying solely on people’s honesty makes it too easy to cheat the system.
Below is more information from the San Francisco COVID Command Center
We have informed all San Francisco vaccination providers with the guidelines below regarding verification of eligibility:
- Use reasonable processes to verify that the person vaccinating meets the eligibility criteria, while avoiding overly burdensome documentation requirements that create barriers to vaccination.
- Workers in different occupational sectors differ in the available documentation that can verify their employment status. Providers may adopt methods that include but are not limited to checking job identification badges, salary deductions, or letters from employers, acknowledging that in some circumstances it may be more feasible and fairer to rely on than to obtain vaccines signed from them. the labor sector.
- Ultimately, it is up to the vaccinating entity to decide on an appropriate process to verify eligibility, however, vaccination sites serving disproportionately affected populations and communities affected by COVID19 should ensure that access to vaccines is low barriers.
- This communication will be updated as additional guidance on verification of eligibility is published by CDPH.