An ICU nurse at Poudre Valley Hospital shows off her vaccination card after receiving the first round of Covid-19 vaccines at UC Health Poudre Valley Hospital on December 14, 2020 in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Helen H. Richardson | The Denver Post | Getty Images
It’s tempting to tell the world once you’ve received a coveted Covid shot. But there is reason to keep it in check.
For starters, sharing a photo of your vaccination card on social media makes you a potential target for identity theft, according to the Better Business Bureau.
The personal information on the card, including your full name and date of birth, not only makes you vulnerable to scammers, but also provides all the information they need to create and sell fake cards online. (These cards are often given after the vaccine recipients have received their first dose.)
If you want to post something about your vaccine, there are safer ways to do it, the Better Business Bureau advised.
For example, share a photo of your vaccine sticker or change your privacy settings so that only friends and family can see your messages.
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Such visual displays are key to spreading a positive public health message about the Covid-19 vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said. And they can go a long way in building trust and encouraging others to get vaccinated.
But with such limited offerings and hard-to-find deals, posting about vaccination, possibly before high-risk candidates, also poses a murky moral dilemma – especially as examples of vaccine unequal distribution grow.
With the supply so limited, “there is an inherent conflict there,” said Steven Thrasher, a professor and Daniel H. Renberg chair of social justice at Northwestern University. “We have to grapple with how this vaccine has been rolled out.”
Rather than figuring out how to get your own vaccination appointment, help others without the same time and resources, he said.
According to data from 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 older than 50 years.
“There will always be someone more in need standing behind you,” 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 be proud of the vaccination, but until we have enough doses for everyone, we want to make sure those doses go to the people most at risk,” she said.
If you’re not in a priority group, you might wait to sign up or pick an appointment in two weeks instead of tomorrow, McLaren advised.
Then, instead of posting about getting vaccinated, post “I can’t wait to get vaccinated.”
“Post in a way that encourages people to get vaccinated, but prioritizes high-risk groups,” she said – then “refocusing our efforts on building a better system until vaccine supply increases.”
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