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After Joshua Wickham-Young posted on Twitter that he had been vaccinated against COVID-19, he received a torrent of intrusive messages from strangers.

“I had at least 15 different people messaging me to ask what medical condition I have to have received the vaccine,” Wickham-Young, 30, told Insider.

“They didn’t say hello or ask if they could ask me — they just immediately questioned whether I was sick enough to get it,” he added.

Wickham-Young is living with a hidden disability that makes him more vulnerable to the coronavirus. He was offered a coronavirus vaccine earlier than other people his age because his condition places him in a priority group for the UK’s vaccine rollout.

The first phase of the UK’s vaccine rollout includes people with diabetes, lowered immunity, rheumatoid arthritis, or profound learning difficulties.

Despite his eligibility, Wickham-Young has faced skepticism and probing questions from people online.

Looks like I’m having the #AstraZeneca vaccine om Saturday. Stab me!

— Joshua James Wickham-Young (@jwickhyoung) February 4, 2021

“They made me feel like I shouldn’t really have got it or that I’d lied to get it,” Wickham-Young told Insider.

“I’ve had a lot of people saying that their mother in their 50s hasn’t had her vaccine yet or their grandma hasn’t had the call,” he continued. “They want to know why I’m getting it before them.”

Vaccine shaming

Like many other young people with invisible illnesses, Wickham-Young has experienced vaccine shaming.

Insider spoke with 11 people with hidden disabilities who all said they had faced intrusive questioning and harassment online and in-person after receiving a vaccine.

Clinically vulnerable. It is all done on priority lists via the GPs. Maybe stop a minute before assuming we are all q jumping twats? Have a great evening!

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— Miranda Green (@greenmiranda) February 5, 2021


Rachel Charlton-Dailey, a 31-year-old journalist with an immune-system disorder, described feeling shamed at the vaccination clinic.

“It just felt like I was being judged, and it started pretty much straight away,” she told Insider. “I was being asked about why I was getting the vaccine from volunteers, not even medical professionals, and other people I didn’t owe an explanation to.”

Charlton-Dailey said this line of questioning downplays the severity of invisible illnesses.

“You don’t know what’s going on with people,” she told Insider. “They’re called invisible illnesses for a reason.”

“Just because I’m young doesn’t mean I don’t need the vaccine,” she continued.

Vaccine shaming has become such a concern for some young people living with disabilities that they’re reluctant to share their vaccination news with others.

‘I don’t really want to tell anyone about my vaccine’

Kiran Oyewole, 20, said that while he was excited to receive a vaccine soon, he’d decided not to post about it on social media or tell his peers.

“I don’t really want to tell anyone about my vaccine because of the stigma there is around getting it before older people,” he told Insider.

“To be in a situation where you can’t say that you’ve been offered a vaccine because of …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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