The Cruelty of the Vaccine Lottery

I found out last week that I’m number 17,437 in line to get a Covid vaccine, although no one at my health care provider was able to tell me what that really signifies. Does this mean I’m days or weeks away from getting a Covid vaccine? Or months?

It was discouraging news, but then I heard about a 94-year-old woman here in Boulder whose number is 20,000-something. A social woman who loves to cook for others, she been isolated in her apartment since last March and has now fallen into a depression.  Why is she behind me in the vaccine line, when she is more than 20 years older?

I read that 80-year-olds and above comprise 54 percent of the deaths from the coronavirus, while people in their 70s account for 24 percent. So why are healthy 70-year-olds who are physically fit and able to leave their homes getting vaccinated before older and more frail seniors who have been languishing indoors for months? How is this fair?

I haven’t seen official figures for which age groups—in the 70-and-above category that is eligible now in Colorado’s phase 1B– are getting vaccinated the most quickly, so any information I have is anecdotal. But, among my friends and acquaintances, most of those in their 80s are still waiting, while most in their 70s have gotten their shots. I know this isn’t a deliberate decision to favor younger seniors, because from the little information out there about the vaccination process, I’ve surmised that health care providers are choosing randomly.

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