Recent development of a COVID-19 vaccine has brought about the debate regarding its distribution. Millions of individuals around the country are re-entering society, getting back to work and attending school while COVID-19 cases continue to skyrocket, thus making the need for a vaccine all the more evident.
However, the matter of when children, teens, and the general public are set to receive the vaccine remains seemingly unknown to the general public. This uncertainty and lack of substantial answers from our government continues to concern not only myself, but my peers across the country.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has given guidelines for vaccination order, but, ultimately, it is up to the individual state to decide the distribution process for the vaccine. The current Douglas County order includes following a process broken down into phases, then in tiers outlined within each group.
Phase 1A is made up entirely of healthcare workers, each being broken up by tiers. This phase was completed, meaning hospital staff members, ER and EMS nurses, COVID-19 vaccinators, and a few other healthcare workers have been given two rounds of the vaccination, taking about two weeks to be implemented.
Phase 1B was originally outlined with four tiers, but is now reduced to three with an ongoing focus on those 65+ and individuals 18+ with ongoing medical conditions. Tier 1 includes first responders, utility workers, homeless shelter employees, and educators. Tier 2 focuses on those in grocery, agriculture, and funeral homes, followed by Tier 3 which includes all transportation (public transit, gas stations, postal service, bus, air, etc.).
As a high school student, it is difficult for me to understand the reasoning behind the distribution order. It scares me that my age range isn’t on any list provided by the Douglas County Health Department to receive the vaccination; even the United States CDC has yet to release any information in regards to when students will have access to a vaccination. The government is made up of people aged 35+ meaning representation for young adults and our generation is absent, not to mean they simply forgot about us, but I can’t shake the feeling we are being overlooked.
I find myself becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of concern our government seems to have for the future of our country. The students in schools across the country, whether it be a primary, secondary, or higher education are this country’s future. Our safety should be a priority of the government, or at least of enough importance to provide some information as to when we will be able to receive a vaccination that has impacted all of us in lifechanging ways.
I say all this with an understanding of the reasoning behind the distribution, and I don’t mean to take away any importance of the groups set to receive the vaccine. COVID-19 has proven that the virus has more dangerous effects on older individuals than their counterparts. However, students and the younger generation should be prioritized along with the others, or potentially have a more efficient way of distribution.
Our contributions we will make to the future of the United States seem pretty important to me, and I personally can’t wait to pass out after seeing the needle.