The state is leveraging peer pressure behind parents’ backs to push under-12-year-olds’ vaccination.
Parents, don’t be surprised if you’re ambushed with enthusiasm for vaccination during the car ride home after picking up your child from a school hosting a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for children from five to 11 years old. The Rhode Island Department of Health (DOH) is handing out toys — fidget spinners, to be exact — to young vaccine recipients.
Laura Damon reports for the Newport Daily News that the “fidget spinner toy [indicates] COVID vaccination status” at Gaudet Middle School, and Anchor Rising has confirmed with a source at a different school that the government is providing them for all state-run clinics.
In fact, a spokesperson for the department disputed this characterization. Asked whether the DOH had publicly announced the program, the spokesperson told Anchor Rising that only one clinic was giving out the fidget spinners “as a distraction while getting vaccinated,” which “resulted in inaccurate rumors on social media.”
Somebody should warn the children, because they’re taking the freebies as desirable bribes for vaccination and may feel left out when other children show them off at recess. More worryingly, parents who aren’t yet convinced it’s a good idea to vaccinate young children — who already have a 99.92% chance of avoiding hospitalization with COVID in Rhode Island — have reason to fear that fidget spinners will not be the last way in which their kids are manipulated and treated differently.