With the first COVID-19 vaccine candidate set to receive an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the US government in a matter of days, its distribution and allocation is set to begin “within 24 hours” of that vaccine’s imminent approval.
The allocation strategy of COVID-19 vaccines within the US is set to dramatically differ from previous national vaccination programs. One key difference is that the vaccine effort itself, known as Operation Warp Speed, is being almost completely managed by the US military, along with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Security Agency (NSA), as opposed to civilian health agencies, which are significantly less involved than previous national vaccination efforts and have even been barred from attending some Warp Speed meetings. In addition, for the first time since 2001, law enforcement officers and DHS officials are set to not be prioritized for early vaccination.
Another key difference is the plan to utilize a phased approach that targets “populations of focus” identified in advance by different government organizations, including the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Characteristics of those “populations of focus,” also referred to as “critical populations” in official documentation, will then be identified by the secretive, Palantir-developed software tool known as “Tiberius” to guide Operation Warp Speed’s vaccine distribution efforts. Tiberius will provide Palantir access to sensitive health and demographic data of Americans, which the company will use to “help identify high-priority populations at highest risk of infection.”
This report is the first of a three-part series unmasking the racist components of the Pentagon-run project to both develop and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine. It explores the COVID-19 vaccine allocation strategy first outlined by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and subsequent government allocation strategies that were informed by Johns Hopkins.
The main focus of this allocation strategy is to deliver vaccines first to racial minorities but in such a way as to make those minorities feel “at ease” and not like “guinea pigs” when receiving an experimental vaccine that those documents admit is likely cause “certain adverse effects…more frequently in certain population subgroups.” Research has shown that those “subgroups” most at risk for adverse effects are these same minorities.