Phil Scott, the Governor of Vermont, announced the next steps of the state’s Covid-19 vaccination rollout. Anyone over the age of 16 who identifies as black, indigenous, or a person of color is now eligible for the vaccine. If you are white, you must be over the age of 50 to qualify for a shot.
The Vermont government website states that the plan is that anyone of any race who is over 50 can get the vaccine. Those who are over 16 with “high-risk health conditions” can get the vaccine. Those who look after children with high-risk health conditions can get the vaccine. And anyone who belongs to non-white racial or ethnic groups can get the vaccine.
Vermont, with a 94% white population, has created “BIPOC-focused community clinics.” These are led by racial justice groups in several towns across the state for those “BIPOC members and their households who would prefer to receive their COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic that is dedicated to this community.”
“I think that’s the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don’t want in the beginning… most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said in January.
“You really want to get it to the people who are really the most vulnerable … you don’t want to have a situation where people who really are in need of it, because of where they are, where they live, what their economic status is, that they don’t have access to the vaccine,” he continued.
At the time of Dr. Fauci’s statement, 16 states had released data by race. It showed that white people were more likely to have received the vaccine. But most of the elderly population in the United States is white, and the elderly was the first group to be eligible for the vaccine due to their high-risk for a severe case of Covid-19.
“For all groups, as compared to the non-Hispanic White population, there were excess COVID-19 deaths across all ages. Although for all racial/ethnic groups, most deaths occurred at older ages, there was also striking loss of life at younger ages, before age 65, among people of color,” one study showed.
“More years of life were lost before 65 years among the non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic populations, despite the smaller size of these groups, than among the non-Hispanic White population. Scrutinizing age-specific mortality rates, we found that for young adults into midlife, comparatively, the non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native populations had a much higher risk of death from COVID-19 than the non-Hispanic White population.”