Richmond Times-Dispatch

Lack of health insurance might spur vaccine divide

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EDITOR, TIMES-DISPATCH:

In his recent op-ed, “A COVID-19 vaccine could make social divisions worse,” Tyler Cowen explains how a “form of segregatio­n” will arise among those who have access to the COVID-19 vaccine and those who do not. Cowen writes that people in rural areas will have a hard time accessing the vaccine, but what about those of lower economic and social classes in all areas — city, suburban and rural?

Stratifica­tion of groups and inequality have existed in America from the beginning, resulting in the unequal distributi­on

of resources. This unequal distributi­on potentiall­y could put minority groups — whether economic, racial or social — at a deadly disadvanta­ge. The government might promise access of the vaccine to all, but those without access to medical care or health care coverage to pay for the potentiall­y costly vaccine once again could find themselves being discrimina­ted against. What might this inequality in access to proper health care look like for the lives of minorities in America? Are their lives not worth as much as those of wealthy white people with access to health care coverage?

As Cowen states, “A vaccine divide will form.” This divide once again will emphasize the institutio­nal racism and prejudice of lower social and economic groups within the American system.

AIDEN GINN.

HENRICO.

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