Massachusetts officials today announced the state’s distribution plan for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, today released the following statement in response:
“Government officials must follow the recommendations of public health experts to help ensure a vaccine distribution plan that protects the health, safety, and civil liberties of all. Governor Baker is right to prioritize allocating vaccines to vulnerable populations—including those who are incarcerated in jails and prisons. Indeed, public health officials have sounded alarms that prisons, jails, and detention centers would be hotspots for the spread of COVID, and Massachusetts has seen those predictions sadly play out in recent months. Making vaccines available to incarcerated people is an important step toward containing COVID-19 inside and outside of these facilities and providing constitutionally mandated medical care, but Governor Baker and other leaders should also act now to reduce incarceration levels and increase testing so that more people are alive to receive the vaccine when it becomes available.
“Massachusetts officials must also prioritize the privacy of all vaccine recipients; a failure to do so will undermine public trust and make people more reluctant to get vaccinated. The government should not demand any more data than is necessary to administer its vaccination program, and it must ensure this data remains unidentifiable.”
For more information about the ACLU of Massachusetts’ COVID-19 response, go to: aclum.org/covid19