Jumping The Vaccine Line Won’t Be Hard To Do

Though authorities have set priorities for distributing the COVID-19 vaccine, most recipients will be on an “honor system.”

By Michael Marks & Shelly BrisbinDecember 17, 2020 1:49 pm,

Frontline health care workers in Texas are already getting vaccinated for the coronavirus. But if you’re a member of the public, you could be in for a bit of wait – unless you’re willing to break the rules. Doing so might not even be that difficult.

Caitlin Owens wrote about jumping the vaccine line for Axios, where she is a health care reporter. She told Texas Standard that beyond first-priority recipients, including health care workers and nursing home staff and residents, “there’s really no good way to enforce who’s supposed to be in line.”

Would checking someone’s work ID prove that they are an essential worker, for example?

Owens says much of the prioritization for vaccines in the next few months will come down to an honor system – people with lower risk choosing to wait for a while, allowing people at higher risk to get vaccinated first.

On the other hand, hesitance among some to take a COVID-19 vaccine could render a potential line-jumping problem less severe.

“If you have a line full of people who want to get vaccinated, that’s not a bad thing,” Owens said. “The problem is if you have a crowd of people who want to get vaccinated and only some of them can.”

Vaccine providers’ records could be audited after the fact to identify who received vaccines and when, based on the priorities that have been set, Owens said. But it’s unlikely that individuals would face penalties for obtaining a vaccine out of priority order.

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