Since the COVID vaccine was first announced last year, the question of who should be prioritized to receive the vaccine has been at the forefront of state policy issues. Disabled activists and Twitter users have started the hashtag #HighRiskCA to highlight the ways in which California’s age-tiered vaccine distribution system will negatively impact and kill disabled people and others who may be younger but at higher risk.
This comes as states across the country—from Ohio and New York, to New Mexico and Oregon—have opened up vaccine distribution to those with disabilities under the age 65.
The hashtag was started by Bay Area-based disability rights advocate Alice Wong. Similar hashtags highlighting the fears of high-risk people in other states have cropped up in days since.
“I am filled with fear for myself and others. I also refuse to defend my humanity and prove my deservingness for the vaccine in comparison to other high-risk groups. High-risk is high-risk,” Wong said, in a video statement.