We had a year to design a fair rollout of vaccine appointments and we just didn't even try. This is where ethics in tech comes in. This is why we need to train us all to ask from day one "how do we make sure everybody has access?" That didn't happen anywhere, as far as I can tell, and everywhere you look, vax access reflects the same patterns of privilege as every other precious thing in our society. It's a huge failure for tech ethics.
Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres ... said low vaccination rates ... are less of a result of vaccine hesitancy than of vaccine access and a digital divide between community members. Data from January shows that white New Yorkers are vaccinated at a higher rates than Black people and Latinos.
"Those in the Bronx who have no access to the Internet, have much less access to information about vaccination sites and have no real ability to participate in online registration systems"
@jamesvasile I recently found that, in my neck of the woods, there's a loose network of good samaratin volunteers helping people find appointments. I kicked myself for not knowing earlier when I and others could have helped them streamline processes and multiply their efforts. Then again, who would have thought we'd have to do that?
@mindofjoe Those informal local networks have sprung up all over. Community fills the gaps, as usual. People take care of each other. It is beautiful and also an indictment of our failed government policies.
@jamesvasile I've seen them or heard about cases mostly as bridging communities to actual internet access -- that last-mile kind of connection without having or promoting stand-alone services (if that makes sense).
Admittedly, my view is narrow and experience limited, but my personal wish is that we should be able to operate similar networks "off-grid" even in places where there is fiber today. 😃
@jamesvasile I actually confused two threads here, James, but it did work out well I think! My sentiments are the same in both threads 😄
@mindofjoe Bridging the last mile is important. There's all kinds of people who don't have effective access that need those bridges! That's just as true of access to the net as it is to access to health care!
@jamesvasile I'm not completely sure that "has access" is exactly the right question. If I have access, but it means I need to spend a few hours traveling somewhere and then a few hours in a queue, I may skip. So maybe more, smaller (and maybe even mobile) vaccination stations could make things more accessible.
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