It’s tempting to tell the world the moment you get a covid shot. But there is reason to contain it.
If you first share a photo of your vaccination card on social media, you are a potential target of identity theft, according to the Better Business Bureau.
The personal information on the card, including your full name and birthday, not only leaves you vulnerable to scammers but also provides all the information they need to create and sell counterfeit cards online. (These cards are often given after vaccine recipients have their first dose.)
If you want to report on your vaccine, there are safer ways to do it, advised the Better Business Bureau.
Instead, share a photo of your vaccine sticker or change your privacy settings so only friends and family can see your posts.
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Such visual displays are key to spreading a positive public health message about the Covid-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And they can go a long way in building confidence and encouraging others to vaccinate.
However, given the limited supply and hard-to-find dates, publishing about vaccinations, possibly in front of high-risk candidates, is also a murky moral dilemma – especially given the growing inequality in vaccine distributions.
Given the limited supply, “there is some inherent conflict there,” said Steven Thrasher, Professor and Daniel H. Renberg Chair of Social Justice at Northwestern University. “We have to deal with the introduction of this vaccine.”
Instead of figuring out how to get your own vaccine appointment, you are helping others without the same amount of time and resources, he said.
According to the CDC, more than 48.4 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed in the US to date. Of those who received a first dose, 55% were over 50 years old.
“There will always be someone in need who is more in need,” said Zoe McLaren, associate professor in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
“We want to encourage everyone to get vaccinated and to be proud to be vaccinated, but until we have enough doses for everyone, we want to make sure that those doses go to the people who are most at risk,” she said.
Until we have enough doses for everyone, we want to make sure those doses go to the people who are most at risk.
Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County
If you’re not on a prioritized group, you can wait until you sign up or pick an appointment in two weeks instead of tomorrow, advised McLaren.
Instead of writing about the vaccination, write “I can’t wait to be vaccinated”.
“Post in a way that encourages people to get vaccinated but gives priority to risk groups,” she said – and “refocus our efforts on building a better system until vaccine supplies increase.”
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