In a rather shocking move, Vermont Governor Phil Scott (R) announced on Thursday that black, indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC) in his state are now eligible to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccination, more than two weeks before it will be made available to the general public.
If you or anyone in your household identifies as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC), including anyone with Abenaki or other First Nations heritage, all household members who are 16 years or older can sign up to get a vaccine! Get yours at ⤵️ https://t.co/hVgb9rzQPn— Governor Phil Scott (@GovPhilScott) April 1, 2021
According to healthvermont.gov, the following groups are now eligible to register for the vaccine:
People 50 years and older
People 16 years or older with high-risk health conditions
Parents and primary caregivers of children with high-risk health conditions
Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC)
English language learners and people in immigrant/refugee communities
Health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities
People who work in the public safety system
School staff and child care worker
So while all other groups that are eligible to register for the vaccine are either at high-risk or essential workers, minorities and immigrant communities are now eligible to register simply because of the color of their skin.
Vermont is currently planning to open vaccine registration to all citizens over the age of 16 by April 19.
Scott received backlash on social media following the announcement, with some users calling the move illegal, as it may violate the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
This tweet is a felony— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) April 2, 2021
This is not even close to legal— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) April 2, 2021
In addition to the issue of legality, Vermont will likely face challenges in filtering BIPOC households as people are allowed to identify as any race they please in present-day society. Also, besides the obvious question of why BIPOC should receive the vaccine first, why should non-BIPOC (i.e., white people) living in households with individuals representing minority races get the vaccine before other white people?
The whole thing makes no sense.