Good Question

From Insty:

…also: “Whom do you vaccinate first?” [takes off Grammar Nazi armband]

That irritant aside, the question is a good one and is especially troubling in a case such as now, when the quantities are likely to be quite limited at first — especially when viewed against the global population of some six billion.

I’m going to be completely on the side of civilization here and say that whichever country developed the vaccine should have first call on the stuff (the dreaded “nationalist” worldview, fuck off, snowflakes).  The fact that Brits, Americans or Europeans (i.e. Western civilizations) would end up being likely ahead of the hapless denizens of sub-Saharan Africa or Southeast Asia… c’est la vie.  So that’s easy:  Western civilization (as the creators) benefits its members first, the rest later.

Let’s look at the situation within two countries who might develop the vaccine (needless to say, at huge cost in terms of research).

Ordinarily, vaccinations start either with children or with the most in need of vaccination — i.e. the populations at greatest risk from whatever pox is being vaccinated against.

Doesn’t work today, though.  In the first place, kids are the ones least at risk from Teh Chinkvirus, so there’s no need to start with them.

Of course, the population group most vulnerable to death from the Chinese Pox is that of the elderly;  but in today’s culture, where we Olde Pharttes are but a step or two away from being shoved onto ice floes by politicians and State institutions (cue:  granny-killer NYGov Cuomo and Britain’s NHS), there would be fainting fits all over the place at the thought of “wasting” the vaccine on people who don’t have long to live anyway.  So those two groups are, arguendo, excluded.  Which leaves the rest.

Then the “meritocracy” argument begins.  In Britishland, it’s easier at least for the first half-dozen or so available doses:  the Queen, and those members of the Royal Family closest to the line of succession.  [cue the Socialists’ and republicans’ grumbling]

Over Here… well, that’s a little problematic, isn’t it?  The thought that a President (any President) should get the first shot is justifiably abhorrent to us egalitarians, ditto any members of government — and of Congress, we will not speak.  (“Fuckem” would be the most common sentiment, I suspect, and rightly so.)

Then we come to the closest group we have to British nobility:  Teh Rich.  Uh huh.  In twenty words or less, explain to me why Bill Gates, some Saudi “prince” or that asshole who runs Google are any more deserving than the guy behind the counter at your local 7-11.  [hands out popcorn]

And the same is true for anyone else whom society may deem “special” and worthy of being at the head of the line.  The thought of Kim Kardashian being more worthy of the vaccine than, say, my Son&Heir… [hands out more popcorn]

The simple truth is that nobody “deserves” to get the vaccination ahead of anyone else:  not in the U.S.A., anyway.  So what’s the solution?

Actually, the answer is really simple:  hand the job over to Social Security.

Social Security numbers are arguably the closest thing we have to a national ID (I know, I know), and it would be the work of a few hours to create a lottery system which would rank the universe of SocSec numbers into some random order which would leave the delivery of vaccinations to pure chance.  Unfortunately, this would exclude all those in this country who are here illegally and thus don’t have a Social Security number, but I see that as a feature, not a bug.

When it comes to survival, life in Earth is pretty much a crapshoot anyway, so why should this situation be any different?

37 comments

  1. Considering the very rushed development, with a couple of the usual test cycles being skipped, and the unknown long-term effects of the vaccine, I suggest that the C-suite management of Pfizer be the first to get the vaccine. That will give us an idea of their opinion about its safety and effectiveness.

  2. The very first batch?

    Naah, the rich and powerful generally aren’t going to get that. They’ll wait a few weeks, to see if there’s any surprising and/or nasty side effects. Barring a few who will get the shots as a public relations move.

    They’ll let the first responders get it (and might even push to require a vaccination for cops and firemen), followed by medical personnel and hospital staff.

    After that, a broad range of volunteers in the “necessary” professions, like grocery store employees and mass transit operators.

    That would give you enough of a population to see if anything bad crops up.

    At that point, the rich and powerful will start taking it.

  3. Hmmm…essential workers need to be first as they are the foundation of the civil society…

    Ammo makers
    Gunsmiths
    Knife makers
    Porn stars
    Distillery workers
    Pot growers
    Porn movie script writers
    The folks who make pencil erasers
    Catholic nuns who teach 1st grade
    Phil Mickelson (as I be watching the Masters now)
    And so it goes…

      1. I am writing one as we speak.

        Scene One:
        Pizza delivery college-student knocks on door.
        Pizza-eating twin co-eds answer the door.
        As twins drag him in, start Track 11 of Porn Music Of The 1970s.

        Oh, yeah… a lot goes into a quality product.

  4. Let me see, the prog bastards have been pillorying Trump for every one of the 200,000 American deaths, but now a vaccine is in sight and they want to give it to other than Americans….
    I do differ from you on the legal resident only stance, that illegal just might contaminate me or mine.

  5. Cooks, Dishwashers, and Shop-clerks!
    If it has massive negative side-effects, mass executions of Pfizer, FDA, and CDC administrators.

  6. I’ll pass, thanks. I am not a medical professional, nor am I “antivax”, but I am a manufacturing professional with 30 years experience starting from the shop floor, now in personnel management, production planning, R&D, and project management producing parts for the aerospace industry.

    I have never, in three decades, seen a single product of this complexity rushed through R&D straight to production, that did not have a shitload of flaws.

    All those drug commercial where 2/3 of the commercial is the narrator listing off the potential side effects? Those drugs were in development for years, sometimes a decade.

    Not beta testing their bullshit with my health for a virus with a 99.9+% survival rate.

    And if they make vaccination mandatory for attending sports or concerts like Ticketmaster wants to do? I guess Ill keep my money, and spend it on falsified records for when the statist motherfuckers make it mandatory to keep my job.

  7. I’m 73, and have a couple of conditions that put me “at risk”. My Doc has encouraged me to get it, but she knows me better than to bring it up again. Whoever wants it can have mine. I won’t be getting it. Ever.

    1. Same here. I’m 71 and going to work every day in “hot spot” South Florida. I won’t be taking the vax. If it’s my time to go, it’s my time. I’m disappointed in some of my quivering co-workers. I try to get them to realize that fear is not a virtue but I’m doomed to failure, I guess.

  8. (I’m right there with you on the who/whom thing. When I read “who” I see a Subject, and if there’s no Predicate to go with it I experience a moment of intense frustration.)

  9. I say that all our politicians should lead by example. They and their families should be vaccinated first. Big Tech should be vaccinated first.

    1. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette went( almost) first on smallpox so it’s only fair.

      I am concerned that this whole episode has moved anti-vaxxing over to the Right from its traditional stronghold on the Left. I blame Bill Gates. If he had just provided funding and STFU it would have been a good deed, but, no, he had to be public face of it. Right has got good reasons to distrust him.

  10. Shit, nobody had any problems figuring out who went first when they were looking for “volunteers” for the South East Asia games. I think, with a few tweaks, somebody could come up with system to decide who gets first crack at the China Virus vaccine.

    Having said that, there might be some wisdom in allowing the Third World to provide Beta Testers.

  11. On a side note that adds to my comment above: Vaccine producers are shielded from lawsuits from any damage their product causes. Do you honestly think they’re testing this for adverse reactions when they can make billions overnight without any liability?

  12. “That irritant aside, the question is a good one and is especially troubling in a case such as now, when the quantities are likely to be quite limited at first — especially when viewed against the global population of some six billion.”

    Forgive me for nitpicking, but that figure is out of date. The global population passed seven billion in 2011, and is currently 7.8 billion. It’s expected to reach eight billion in 2024.

      1. 99% of those numbers? Even, say, at 95%, it is, as Kim says, a rounding error.
        Or is the virus killing ten or twenty percent of the poor in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere? We can’t believe China’s numbers on how their people fared. What was the number on how many fewer cell phone subscribers they have compared to a year ago?

  13. I’m with Toastrider, politicians and government employees should get the first shots.

    Oh, wait, you’re referring to a vaccine.

    Never mind.

    1. With the rapidity this thing has come to market, there may not be much difference. How long ago was there a controversy in the media over vaccinating soldiers for Anthrax, and severe side effects from that?
      I agree, politicians (the new party members) and government employees. The sky-is-falling-Democrats and media people (but I repeat myself) should be first.

  14. Why would I want a untried vaccine for a disease all media hysterics aside has a 99% survival rate?

    That being said what does the government do if a majority of citizens refuse it?

  15. Cuomo said NY can’t have it until he’s happy. If I still lived in NY, I’d go to PA to get it just to spite him.

  16. It might be best to figure out who is spreading most and vaccinate them. Kids might not be particularly susceptible to covid symptoms, but they can become infected (asymptomatically) and therefore carry the disease.

    While I don’t know that public indoctrination centers are a major source of disease spread, I would bet that they are. After all, you’re packing kids (who often are less than hygienic on a good day) into small rooms like cattle, and keeping them there 6-7 hours per day with special “energy efficient” buildings.

    A lot of schools would be considered “sick buildings” if the government didn’t run them.

    So I’m not sure, but it might be better to vaccinate the kids first. If they’re vaccinated, they won’t spread.

    Of course, it might be better to get them out of the schools. Not only would it slow the spread of covid, it would slow the spread of communism.

  17. Look up BARDA and know that they have ordered 200 million syringes to administer some sort of shot to some people. Is there a vaccine yet ? Like the one for the common cold? Oh wait, none there or possible. Look up what qualities deem any vaccine to be a success, it is not what you think.
    Is there a Ministry of Propaganda in US? I am beginning to think so.

  18. “hand the job over to Social Security”

    Nope, they’re government idiots and would find some way to cheat or screw up, probably wind up killing a bunch of people.

    Why not be a real true capitalist and let the drug companies sell to the highest bidder? I know, I know, a strange revolutionary idea, but I understand it often works.

  19. I am a simple fellow and like clear, simple solutions.

    Every D politician from lowest to the cusp(it) should be vaccinated first, en masse, all on same date. Then we wait 30 days to see how many drop dead or exhibit any symptoms of rationality. Only then would it be tentatively prudent to start with the general public.

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