‘Companion’ COVID-19 Vaccine Guideline Leads to Moral Dilemma
Earlier this week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced a new rule when it comes to vaccine distribution. The new guidelines extend vaccine eligibility to younger people who accompany older people aged 75 and above to get their shot.
Reportedly, the reason the new guideline was put into place was that there were many older people who felt guilty about asking younger people for a ride to the vaccine clinic. They didn't like the idea of inconveniencing someone by asking them to take time off from work to bring them to get vaccinated. While any feelings of guilt on their part should clearly be unwarranted, this approach helps them feel better about asking for the favor because there's something in it for everyone.
If the goal is to get as many people 75 and over – some of the most vulnerable in the population – to get the shot as possible, then I guess I could see how this approach could be beneficial. I believe it creates an interesting ethical and moral dilemma, though.
I am scheduled to bring my father-in-law back to Bristol Community College to get his second shot in a couple of weeks. Technically, under the new guideline, I could legitimately get the vaccine. I would be eligible, but I'm not sure how comfortable I am to roll up my sleeve and get the shot knowing that there are so many people out there that are sicker and older than I am.
The program was just announced on Wednesday, but one day into it, there were already stories of people abusing the system. No, it's not OK to rent an elderly person on Craigslist for the afternoon so you can skip the line and get vaccinated.
A good rule of thumb is if you are going to utilize the "companion" program, it's probably best for all involved for you to know the person you are driving to the clinic.
LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions
While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.