"I think in New York people are trying to figure out those dynamic, whether you're getting the dose because it's leftover or a condition that qualified you or lied about something," said Mr. Das. "The honest reality is I know people who have crossed the line and lied about things – 29 year old people who were given vaccines who didn't have pre-existing conditions. But I think most people don't lie. The target is to vaccinate everyone. "
Rhonda Wolfson, who lives in Toronto, said that another privacy issue has arisen in places where the vaccination process is still age-restricted, highlighting the fact that a person is over a certain age. Ms. Wolfson qualified for a pilot vaccination program in Ontario for people ages 60 to 64, and she realized that talking about her vaccination would reveal her as a sexagenarian to people who thought she was younger.
"I have a girlfriend in her forties and she knows I'm older, but she doesn't know my exact age," said Ms. Wolfson. “She never asked and I never offered. I spoke to her last week and in my excitement said,“ Oh my god, I got the vaccine. ”I could almost hear her,“ Oh, you're that age. "
In some circles, the stigma of early vaccination is even more worrying as it could deter those at risk from getting the shot. For example, in the gay community, a young person who is vaccinated in the early group may be considered immunocompromised.
“There's an assumption in the gay community that if you get the vaccine now, you're secretly going to H.I.V. positive, ”said Mr Das, who is gay. "The community has assumed that if you are gay and you post a picture of the vaccination card, you are positive and you haven't told us. I always speak to my friends and tell them, 'Don't take things."
Mr Das said he hoped any stigmatization or privacy issues related to early vaccination would go away once vaccination dates are open to everyone. President Biden has urged all states to extend medical eligibility to the general population by May 1, and many states, including Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, and Mississippi, have already made the change.
"The sooner we can all vaccinate, the more this question becomes," Oh, what qualified you? "Stop it," said Das. "Once that is gone, hopefully those barriers will be removed and people will stop asking these very personal questions."