"Florida's Vaccine Policy without saying it was to basically deny minorities vaccines"

I’m listening to an older political podcast from around the time the first wave of vaccines were being distributed around the country and the hosts are from Florida and for some reason there’s a lot of talk about minorities being “denied the vaccine in favor of white residents”. Now, they’re specifically talking about YOUNGER residents. I found news articles saying that initially older white residents were getting vaccinated at higher rates than black or Hispanic older residents but the podcast is talking specifically about a Hispanic person in their 30s finding it incredibly hard to get vaccinated over white residents.

Does anyone know what they’re talking about?

Um, aren’t you the one listening to the podcast? Exactly how are they saying this alleged discrimination occurred? Even in Florida, I doubt the Walgreens clerks were saying “Sorry, you’re a bit darker than this paper bag, try back next Wednesday. OK, Karen, we’re ready for you!”

It doesn’t surprise me that white people were overrepresented among the earliest vaccine recipients. I can imagine that, since whiteness is correlated with wealth and professional employment, in the very early stages of the vaccine rollout, white people were more likely to be able to spend all day on the internet looking for a shot and then drive fifty miles at three in the morning to get it. But that’s more a function of economic inequality than of racism per se (to the limited extent they can be disentangled in America). It hardly seems to justify the kind of rhetoric used in the thread title.

It certainly wouldn’t surprise me to learn that Florida’s government acted in horribly and blatantly racist ways around the vaccine rollout. Is there compelling evidence that they in fact, did so? Well, again, you’re the one listening to the podcast, give us something to work with here.

I searched DuckDuckGo for “florida vaccine rollout was racist” and found many headlines hinting at that. I didn’t open or read any of the cites beyond the brief previews shown with the search results. I did note, just from those previews, that a few referred to places beyond just Florida, and some looked like more current events as well.

Without going back to dig up a cite, IIRC the vaccine rollout in Florida was initially (and blatantly) concentrated in wealthy and predominantly white neighborhoods – basically, GOP donor strongholds.

Yes, this is my recollection. The official line (‘saying without saying’) was that Florida was prioritizing senior citizens over ‘healthy young’ frontline workers. The implementation was that retirement communities full of wealthy white folks were getting most of the early vaccines.

After glancing at some of those headlines, I also recall the kerfuffle over Publix pharmacies getting the contract for the early vaccine rollouts. Publix is a GOP donor, and their supermarkets don’t target poor neighborhoods.

Now, a fair question is whether DeSantis was intentionally excluding minorities, or whether he was simply letting systemic racism do the job by catering to his base and donors in a mercenary fashion. Either way, it did happen.

As I recall, in the early days of the vaccine, Publix was the exclusive location in Palm Beach County, but not even an option in Broward County just to the south. (I live in Broward.) There were complaints in Palm Beach that the locations were such that it was hard for poor people to get to.

There have been squabbles over vaccine eligibility dating back to initial vaccine release. In my state (Kentucky), teachers were prioritized over those 65 and older who did not have significant co-morbidities. Not saying that was necessarily “ageist”, but when resources are limited, decisions are not always obviously science-based.

I don’t know what Florida’s deal was, but overall some minorities were underrepresented on immunization because of unfounded suspicions of the Man experimenting on them to deleterious effect.

Publix was chosen as a vaccination cite because they have the most locations throughout the state, some 813 of them.

Heavily concentrated in specific areas while large parts of Florida are bare.

The second largest, Southeastern Grocers, owner of Winn-Dixie and Harvey’s has about 400 stores in Florida. And?

Nice dodge.

It’s not a dodge.

If a state health official wants to choose locations, do they go with the supermarket with 800 locations, or 400?

You go with the option that allows the most people access. If the 400 locations are more evenly spread out across the State than the 800 locations are, then you go with the 400 locations. This isn’t hard.

Why did they have to choose? Why not use both?

Or you go with both. (ninja’ed)

There were issues in at least several, if not many, states as I recall, about vaccination sites, including mass vaccination sites being in whiter neighborhoods, and people of color disproportionately not being able to get appointments for multiple reasons. (Less convenient locations, more transportation issues, less internet and computer access, less ability to spend time trying to get an appointment, etc.). Multiple states changed vaccine distribution in response, to make distribution more equitable. I’m guessing that Florida did not do that.

I assume we’re talking here about some early stage of the rollout, where there wasn’t enough vaccine to adequately supply both pharmacy chains. If that’s not the case, of course, there is no good answer to your question.

But even in that case, why not choose both? If there’s an inadequate supply, there’s going to be shortages no matter how you distribute the vaccines, but choosing both avoids the problem of concentrating on some areas while entirely neglecting others, while adding the advantage that both chains have an opportunity to establish procedures for distribution, so that when adequate supplies arrive, they can just ramp up delivery immediately, rather than have to waste time putting procedures in place after the fact.

Publix locations are concentrated on the coasts, and Central Florida (Orlando-ish), where the most people live. This isn’t hard.

Yes, it was a logical choice that just happened to further reinforce systemic disadvantages that certain populations in Florida have dealt with for generations.

Utilitarianism is extremely attractive if one is confident they’ll always be in the group being served at somebody else’s expense.

This is why looking at things through the lens of critical race theory might be important. I don’t know the specifics here, but it very well be true that the decision to choose Publix was a decision made by white people that inadvertently was more advantageous to white people. This is why anti-racists don’t like the “I don’t see color” types. You can make intelligent decisions for good reasons that are nevertheless bad for society if you don’t look at them through the lens of race.