Canadian city Hamilton opens up vaccine eligibility to people 18 and over in outbreak hot spots, as long as they aren't WHITE
Hamilton, a Canadian port city on Lake Ontario, has responded to a jump in Covid-19 cases by making vaccines available to all adults in “hot spot” neighborhoods, but only to residents whose skin isn't white.
The city expanded vaccine eligibility to “black and other racialized” people aged 18 and older who live in five zip codes where the current outbreak is most acute. A special clinic set up to vaccinate only non-white residents filled its appointment book in just a few hours last week.
COVID-19 vaccine appointments are now available for Black and other racialized populations/people of colour ages 18+ who live in postal codes L9C, L8W, L8L, L8N and L9K at the COVID-19 vaccine clinic at FIRSTONTARIO CENTRE, Friday to Sunday this coming week.— City of Hamilton (@cityofhamilton) April 24, 2021
The move comes amid a Covid-19 case surge so severe that Ontario Premier Doug Ford earlier this month set up checkpoints at the province's borders with Manitoba and Quebec, and tightened already severe lockdown restrictions. With the province unable to secure enough vaccine doses as new strains cause the virus to spread more quickly, Ford said “we're losing the battle between the variants and the vaccines.”Also on rt.com Canada's Ontario to set up Covid-19 checkpoints at borders with Quebec & Manitoba provinces to turn away ‘non-essential travelers’
But social media users argued that choosing who gets the vaccines based on skin color, without regard for such risk factors as age and pre-existing medical conditions, is racist. “Woke racism is a Canadian virtue – clearly illegal, but government-sanctioned and police-enforced,” one Twitter commenter said.
Woke racism is a Canadian virtue.Clearly illegal, but government-sanctioned, and police-enforced.— King George V (@metebelis_3) April 26, 2021
“Too bad I'm white and poor and in bad health, but whatever,” another observer said. “Give a 30-year-old, healthy black lawyer a vaccine just because he's black.”
The US state of Vermont adopted a similar policy earlier this month, making Covid-19 jabs available to non-white residents who are at least 16 years old but limiting the shots to those age 50 and over for whites. And like Hamilton, Vermont set up dedicated clinics for non-whites.Also on rt.com Vermont opens up Covid-19 vaccine eligibility to anyone 16 and over... as long as they ‘identify’ as any color other than WHITE
Others questioned how racial eligibility will be determined, such as the percentage of non-white blood a person would need to qualify, and likened the policy to disastrous ethnicity-based marginalization of people in past eras.
How do we tell who is “racialized enough” to be eligible? Perhaps a bureau of racial purity? Racial passports? Maybe just stitch symbols onto people’s sleeves to make identifying them easier. Wonder if this has ever been tried before. Surely it can’t go wrong.— Corpse Retrieval Man (@DECAFxMETCALF) April 26, 2021
You will be relying on these spanish colonial race charts to determine priority, yes ? pic.twitter.com/RkI0xvPzdu— Jonathan Kay (@jonkay) April 26, 2021
Hamilton officials cited the fact that 47% of the residents who have been infected with Covid-19 identify as “racialized,” although they make up only 19% of the city's population. Proponents of such policies prioritizing non-white people for vaccines have argued that “systemic conditions” have rendered them more vulnerable to Covid-19.
But some black observers said race-based prioritization is divisive and causes more distrust in the vaccines. One commenter said she “would never go near somewhere targeting only black people for vaccines.” Others noted that white people in the targeted neighborhoods live in the same socioeconomic conditions.
Clearly no 'racialized' person was consulted about this. This just feeds into the hesitancy and distrust plus creates unnecessary division. I am neither vaccine hesitant nor a big conspiracy theorist but would never go near somewhere targeting only black people for vaccines.— Keisha (@keishawd10) April 26, 2021
Still other Twitter commenters saw the move as a bad precedent. “Will they be triaging ventilators the same way at the ICU?” entrepreneur Mina Bashta asked. “This is not a move in the right direction; rather, a very dangerous path to take. And I say that as immigrant myself.”
Since when does our healthcare system increase or decrease our patients priority based on their skin color? Will they be triaging ventilators the same way at the ICU?This is not a move in the right direction,rather a very dangerous path to take & I say this as immigrant myself.— Mina Bashta (@Bashtanol) April 26, 2021
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