Black, Latino Seniors in Virginia Get COVID-19 Vaccine Priority as White 85-Year-Olds Wait
In a move that is outraging senior citizens throughout Virginia, the state is shifting its COVID-19 vaccination distribution to prioritize black and Latino residents even as desperate 85-year-olds interviewed by Judicial Watch struggle to get the shot. Like several other states, Virginia is vaccinating its population in phases, with healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities receiving utmost priority. With that population completed, according to the Virginia Department of Health, the second group includes a peculiar combination of frontline workers, people 65 and over, those with medical conditions, incarcerated criminals and those living in homeless shelters or “migrant labor camps.”
As if it were not bad enough that law-abiding seniors are considered as important to Virginia officials as convicts and illegal immigrants, now comes another slap in the face. In the next few weeks, the state will give preference to black and Latino residents 65 and over while much older white seniors, many in their 80s, cannot secure an appointment to get inoculated. The plan was announced a few days ago by Dr. Danny Avula, who was appointed by Governor Ralph Northam this year to be the state’s vaccine coordinator. A Richmond news report calls it the latest step taken by Virginia to bake equity into its vaccination policies. In recent weeks, the article says, roughly 10,000 vaccines were channeled specifically toward trusted clinics in neighborhoods with older black residents.