Politics

In updated COVID-19 vaccination plan, Vermont becomes first state to give priority to minority residents

Under the Governor Leadership of Republican Phil Scott of Vermont, the State has released another approach to their vaccination program and roll out for Vermont residents to receive their vaccinations.

Specifically under the Scott Administration’s rollout plan, there was priority given to certain peoples before offering the vaccine to all residents through their state sponsored vaccination sites. In Mid-March the Governor’s rollout schedule first offered households that identify as Black, Indigenous, or a person of Color (BIPOC) access to get vaccinations. These vaccinations happened through sites co-partnered with the State and the organizations Vermont Racial Justice Alliance, Windham County NAACP, and Vermont Professionals of Color Network.

These organization give claim that their mission is to “progress through embracing true history and culture-Black folks who are descendants of enslaved people come from a rich and proud tradition” and “The Windham County Vermont Branch of the NAACP is dedicated to serving the needs and promoting the social, economic, and political and interpersonal power of people of color and their allies living in our county.” While these organizations claim to help solve issues related to social and racial disparities, these recent vaccination schedule decisions have faced major backlash—calling them “racist,  playing favoritism, and systemically segregating health care treatment.”

There are other criteria for eligibility that are listed on the State’s health website. Those eligible include people over the age of 50, people 16 years of older with high-risk health conditions, and parents and primary caregivers of children with high-risk health conditions. State officials have continued to defend their decision “As part of our strategy to prioritize Vermonters most at risk of severe illness and save lives” and “working toward equity.” Critic Christopher Rufo told Fox News “Vermont’s program of racially separate standards, which denies medical services to a specific racial group, is a flagrant violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Christopher Rufo told the National Review that “First, it encourages Americans of all races to think of themselves as being primarily racial creatures, with interests that are not individual, familial, or national but mostly based on the color of their skin. We can expect such a mindset to not only hamper individual success and happiness but undermine our national solidarity and goals, as well as lead to jockeying for political power among racial groups.” So even with heavy criticism the Governor and State officials will continue with the current rollout of the vaccine schedule.

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ARTICLE: JACOB KOVACS

POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: NY DAILY NEWS

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