For 28 glorious hours this week, Solana Sparks thought she could get a COVID-19 vaccine. That’s because a public health official in King County, which includes the city of Seattle, told her that Washington state would soon begin prioritizing sex workers for vaccination.But about a day after Sparks tweeted out the good news, she said she was told the whole thing had been a “misunderstanding.”

Sex workers were not, in fact, in line to get vaccinated.

“Overwhelmingly, our clients don’t want to wear masks, and they don’t want us to wear masks,” Sparks, who’s a full-service sex worker, told VICE News. “I have clients who are older and I’m really worried about them.”

Had Washington followed through, it likely would’ve been the first state to prioritize vaccinating people in the sex work industry, which encompasses a broad range of occupations with varying degrees of in-person contact and legality. With coronavirus vaccines in such short supply, deciding who gets first dibs is a deeply complex process that invokes questions of ethics, public health, and political acceptability.

But many sex workers have been economically ravaged by the coronavirus and driven to work in-person, sometimes without adequate PPE. Public health professionals say that they should not be forgotten in the vaccine rollout.

Read the Full Article Here: VICE NEWS: Sex Workers Are Fighting to Get the COVID Vaccine by Carter Sherman

February 12th, 2021