Letters to the Editor: Shame on wealthy trying to buy their way to the front of the vaccine line

A vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at Desert Valley Hospital in Victorville on Dec. 17.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The Dec. 18 front page of The Times offered a banquet-sized portion of food for thought, featuring an article about a humble family struggling to cope with the devastation wrought by the coronavirus. The reasons for this family’s struggle include lack of access to the remote-working remedy, which many others have and even take for granted.

Appearing right next that piece was an article about people of great wealth trying elbow a path to the front of the vaccine line.

I cannot think of a better summation of “why we are where we are” when it comes to this pandemic and so much more.


Blaise Jackson, Escondido


To the editor: It made me sick to my stomach to read about the high-priced doctors who care for celebrities and other wealthy people being asked by their patients if they can buy their way to the front of the vaccine line.

Another article on the front page noted the devastation this pandemic has wreaked on lower-income minorities.

I have an idea: The elite trying to get the vaccine should announce to the world who they are and why they’re more entitled than the rest of us to jump the line, and let’s see then how many people still idolize them.

Nancy Maletz, Thousand Oaks


To the editor: What struck me first about the news of the rich wanting to jump the line is how similar it is to the the recent college admissions scandal. The rich think money will get them in by sidestepping moral and ethical lines.


However, this is a life-and-death issue for healthcare workers and other vulnerable people.

I too was going to ask my doctor how and when I can get the vaccine. I didn’t need to make that call, as I got an email from Cedars-Sinai hospital (with which my doctor is affiliated) explaining the priorities for who will get the vaccine first and so on.

Even though I am in the more vulnerable category, I understand that my moral obligation is to wait. I know my turn will come.

I hope these boutique doctors have the courage and ethics to say no as long as it is appropriate.

Esther Friedberg, Studio City


To the editor: Is anyone surprised that people with money are willing to pay big bucks to get ahead of the line to get a vaccine before people who should be up there, like hospital workers, essential workers and older people? Of course not, because that’s what always goes on.

But it would be comforting if, just this once, people did the right thing and waited their turn.

These same people who want to jump the line likely live in spacious surroundings, while others who probably need the vaccine sooner to stay safe are in smaller living quarters. This is just one more effect of gross income disparity.

Barbara Azrialy, Los Angeles