Back of the line, MAGAts!

After months of dragging their heels and opposing pandemic control efforts, our Republican representatives are making a rush for the front of the vaccination line.

Republican leaders of the Minnesota Legislature suggested Friday that state lawmakers and the staff who work for them should be among the early recipients of a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available.

“I’m encouraging the vaccines, as one of the priority groups after elderly and some of our front-line workers, that we think about the people that have to be essential at the Capitol,” Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, said at a forum with other legislative leaders.

No. If Republicans all got sick and had to stay home for a month, ending their obstructionism, we’d make better progress. All Republicans should be sent to the end of the queue.

Front of the line: health care workers. Right behind them: public school teachers. Then, if there were any justice in the world, we’d do a rational risk assessment and distribute the vaccine to those communities with the highest mortality from the disease, which would be the black and Latin communities in our cities.

Aww, but get real. This is America. It’s going to go first to the already wealthy people, because it’s going to be sold on capitalist principles, which means the actual beneficiaries will be those with the least need.


  1. chrislawson says

    Any Republican who lied about COVID and mask-wearing yet still expects to be first in line for the vaccine should have it delivered in a bleach solute directly into the carotid.

  2. says

    “state lawmakers and the staff who work for them should be among the early recipients”

    Getting some serious Dr. Strangelove vibes from that one.

  3. whywhywhy says

    Folks in prisons and jails need to be right after frontline healthcare workers. But no one seems to be mentioning them.

  4. indianajones says

    Sounds like a B Ark candidate to me. Here guys, the vaccine is this way…

    Also that stalwart representative a few months back who insisted on in-person voting cos it is safe then turned up in full, badly worn, PPE? That guy gets to clean the B Ark ‘COVID and other dreaded lurgies ward’ with his tongue. Daily.

  5. raven says

    We can tell from the recent past who the priority recipients will be.
    At the start of the pandemic, testing was very limited for many months.
    So who got tested?

    .1. Rich, white politicians.
    .2. Rich white anybody.
    .3. Basketball players and other mostly pro athletes.
    .4. Celebrities, especially Hollywood stars of various sorts.
    .5. -10 Everyone else.

  6. robro says

    raven — I wouldn’t be surprised if you were right, but that’s not the plan in California according Gov. Newsom. The first in line for the first batch of vaccines will be acute care workers, paramedics, nursing home staff, and dialysis center staff. Then come more healthcare workers.

    And then there’s this nifty little presentation which shows you where you are in line based on your age, location, and risk. For my county, age, and status I’m behind 72,500 people of 250k, and right before homeless and prisoners.

  7. says

    Oh, that’s interesting.

    Based on your risk profile, we believe you’re in line behind 135.7 million people across the United States.
    When it comes to Minnesota, we think you’re behind 2.2 million others who are at higher risk in your state.
    And in Stevens County, you’re behind 4,000 others.

    There are about 10K people in Stevens county, so I guess I’m somewhere around the middle of the line.

  8. ORigel says

    I’d say the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions should be at the top of the list, too.

  9. billseymour says

    In Missouri, the first in line are supposed to be health-care workers (including support staff, not just doctors and nurses) and staff and residents in nursing homes.

    I should be in the second group:  the elderly and folks who are high-risk…probably late winter or early spring…we’ll see.  I can’t remember exactly what the cutoff is for “elderly”, but it seemed low when I heard it…55 or 60.

  10. JustaTech says

    Right now in WA I (non-manufacturing lab staff at a biotech company), am behind medical staff, nursing home residents, other first responders, people with health risks, other elderly, essential workers, teachers, homeless, prisoners, young adults, children (if approved), other essential workers (don’t know how they’re divided up), and a whole bunch of just “other” people.

    Which is how it should be. The real question is if I will get it before my spouse (because I work in biotech) or if they’ll get it sooner because they are a whopping 2 years older than me (and will meet the youngest of the “old” cut offs soon).

    So I’m thinking summer, maybe fall, depending on how the distribution goes. Which isn’t looking great for my race prospects for next year, but who cares. I’ve run alone before, I can do it again.

  11. larpar says

    robro @ #7
    Something seems a bit off with that metric. I entered my info and I’m 9th from last (which is ok with me). However if I admit I’m fat (obesity, covid related health risk), then I move clear up to 25th in line. That’s quite a leap.

  12. davidc1 says

    Over here in GB ,Heath workers were to be the fist in line for the vaccine ,the tories soon dropped that idea .
    I think anyone who as been on social media saying that Covid is a hoax ,should be at the back of the queue ,
    plus they should have to pay for it themselves .
    Especially that barking mad git david icke ,and hatie katie hopkins .

  13. garnetstar says

    Did you read that news story where a bunch of rich white Wall Streets got together and asked that finance people, the finance industry, be next in line after health care workers?

    There’s not as much that makes me scream aloud with rage as there used to be, but that did. (I’m wondering if the world would even notice if they all dropped dead?)

    Also: grocery store workers. They need to be up there in priority somewhere.

  14. mcfrank0 says

    << It’s going to go first to the already wealthy people, because it’s going to be sold on capitalist principles, which means the actual beneficiaries will be those with the least need.>>

    I was about note how it would also be free to the people who could actually afford the cost of the vaccine. But I caught myself before I fell down the “means testing” rabbit hole.

    They should simply have their taxes raised to pay their fair share.

  15. KG says


    This was the priority list recommended by the JCVI (Joint commmittee on Vaccination and Immunisation) for the UK on 2nd December:

    residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
    all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
    all those 75 years of age and over
    all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
    all those 65 years of age and over
    all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
    all those 60 years of age and over
    all those 55 years of age and over
    all those 50 years of age and over

    I’ve heard that care home residents may not get vaccinated first for logistical reasons, Other than that, I’ve not seen any specific changes. Have you?

  16. cvoinescu says

    KG @ #16, that’s still the plan.

    They are working on a safe way to break down the boxes of nearly 1000 doses so they can be distributed to care homes, but they had not worked up all the details last I checked. In the meantime, they’re distributing whole boxes to hospitals and starting with care home residents who can travel, their carers, and anyone in the first two groups who has an outpatient hospital appointment or is being discharged from hospital. (Sounds like a less-than-ideal plan to me, but I can’t really say which is better, waiting a little more until they can get the vaccine to the people, or taking the extra risks of moving old people around to get their vaccine now.)

  17. lanir says

    I chased down this rabbit hole myself when thinking about another post about antivaxxers. I was thinking the wealthy would end up getting it first. I’d say that something should be done about that but I think realistically… Those narcissists would burn down the world to pad their wallet (see environmental issues) so there’s zero chance they won’t do the same to avoid getting sick. The only good thing about that is they’ve managed to exclude so many people from the club that in a very meaningful way they won’t be at all taxing on the actual vaccination efforts. The only way they would be is if they didn’t get their way and threw a tantrum about it because then they’d be messing up the logistics of the supply chain for everyone else.

    The far more important issue is going to be making the most useless people involved in the far corners of the vaccine research efforts stop seeing this as the biggest payday of their already pampered lives.

  18. says

    I would think the first people to get it should be healthcare workers, and then anybody who was told they had an “essential” job and made to come in — but not the executives of said companies. If you can work from home, you should be way down on the list.

  19. KG says

    The Vicar@21,
    The rationale given for the UK priority list is (a) to vaccinate early those with greatest risk of serious illness if they get infected, as it’s not yet known whether the vaccine prevents asymptomatic shedding of the virus (so little point in prioritising those who have most contacts) and (b) that categorising by age is going to be relatively easy to administer, resulting in a higher takeup. But frontline healthcare workers should certainly get very high priority, as quite a lot even of relatively young and healthy people in that category have died, possibly because of acquiring unusually high viral loads.

  20. derferick says

    Also, what has not been mentioned but in UK you will not be allowed to buy a vaccination. Socialised medicine at its best.

  21. KG says

    Looks like a load of tosh to me.A lot of crap gets through peer review, and unfortunately, seem to regard actual knowledge of science as a disqualification for a position on their editorial staff – all too often, it’s clear the writer hasn’t a clue about the subject of their article.

  22. says

    @KG, #22:

    People who work “essential” jobs are kind of automatically potential superspreaders. Inoculating them would cut down on spread and render a lot of people safer indirectly.

    There was a study done in Europe, published a few weeks back — I’m too lazy to look it up — which came to the conclusion that ventilation was much more important than mask-wearing in enclosed spaces with prolonged contact (schools, shops, restaurants, etc.). One of the scenarios they very specifically looked at was “single infected person stays in an enclosed space while others come and go”, and it was much more deadly, with or without masks or ventilation, than “infected people come and go while single uninfected person stays”. Aerosols — which famously are not caught by masks and are as infectious as what the masks do catch — build up when an infected person has to stay in one enclosed space, and there’s nothing which can be done to completely erase that effect.

    It is more important to society at large to lower r-value, and that can most effectively be done by giving vaccination as soon as possible to the people who are hubs for interaction.