OneZero writer Sarah Emerson published a story about vaccine hunters, referencing Facebook groups aimed at tracking down doses of COVID-19 vaccinations for their members. As part of the article, Emerson spoke with Keisha Ray, PhD. Ray explains that “vaccine hunters are the result of short supply, disorganization, inadequate sign-up systems, dire circumstances, and crowded hospitals.” Even within vaccine hunter groups, equity issues arise given that members of marginalized populations hardest hit by the virus cannot access such groups or vaccines, noting the “internet is, unfortunately, a privilege that many people don’t have, as well as a social determinant of health.”
To better target Black and Latino communities, Ray suggests deploying mobile vaccination units. The suggestion comes on the heels of a recent paper co-authored by Ray and others that was published by The Hastings Center in which it is discussed that the first-come, first-served approach to allocating the vaccines is not ethnically defensible, instead offering an ethical framework for organizations.