My grandmother recently passed away after a heroic battle with COVID-19. At 94 years of age, with underlying conditions, and a longtime resident of a local assisted-living facility; my grandmother fully met the criteria for “recommended” populations to receive a priority vaccination under the Phase 1A distribution process as outlined by the California Department of Public Health. Unfortunately, our county has been disproportionally affected by COVID-19, and both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines that were recently granted emergency use authorization (EUA) under the FDA have solely been reserved for our frontline healthcare workers – as it should be.

Before her facility (i.e., or even its healthcare workers) could gain access to these life-saving vaccines, my grandmother developed pneumonia in both lungs and ultimately succumbed to the relentless onslaught brought on by this deadly disease. The reason I share this painful memory is because of recent social media posts involving a local elected official (and his cameraman) proudly showing off that they had received vaccines from a local medical provider. Ironically, neither of these individuals meet the criteria for priority vaccination as outlined in Phase 1A.

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