Many of my friends and family in Kentucky have started getting vaccinated recently. Kentucky has opened up vaccine eligibility to people with underlying health conditions. I’m happy for my friends and family, but I am jealous that I am not able to be vaccinated. Here in the state of Maryland you still can’t get the vaccine if you are under the age of 65 unless you are a teacher, health care worker, first responder, or other job the state has deemed essential. There is a small list of health conditions that qualify you a well. In my county the health department won’t schedule appointments for anyone below the age of 75 until next week.
Governor Hogan has a press conference yesterday. I thought since he has said we have vaccinated over 505 of people over the age of 65 that he was going to announce we were moving to phase 2. Part of this thought was fueled by the fact that while looking at the Walgreens sign up it suddenly gave me multiple options to schedule an appointment being a 52 year old with weight and blood pressure issues. I booked an appointment with the assumption that Hogan was going to announce I now qualified. He did not. He wont even give us an idea when he might open up appointments to people under 65. What he did announce was that he was lifting all capacity limits on most businesses in the state. The mask mandate and social distancing remain, but there counties can now allow businesses to open with whatever capacity social distancing allows. It seems early. It seems like perhaps you open vaccine eligibility to phase 2 people first and then reduce capacity. I think my county will probably not follow suit. So, with no announcement of opening the vaccines up to the next phase, I guess I will cancel my appointment and wait longer to be vaccinated. Part of me says to go on in and see what happens, but the guilt consumes me along with the worry that if they turn me away it will mean a wasted dose of the vaccine.
I’ve seen a lot of writing out there about the vaccine and what is “fair” I agree that lying to jump the line is bad. Dressing up as an old person to get a vaccine is inappropriate. But, I saw an editorial yesterday where a columnist was saying that people in the suburbs signing up for a mass vax site in the city was cheating even though they qualified and it was the closest site. This was in Chicago, but I’ve seen the same complaints in Maryland. The places with the mass vax sites are complaining that the appointments are being taken by people from elsewhere in the state. These are state run sites. There is no state run site in my county. Once I am eligible if I can’t get an appointment at a pharmacy or my local health department the only option left is driving out of county to a mass vax site. That’s not cheating. That’s taking my rightful place in line. Until there is a mass site in every county people from other counties will be using these sites. That’s the way it works. It’s not unfair. There are people who think that younger people who qualify for job or health reasons should still wait because they are “taking a shot from on elderly person” There are people who think we should never open the next phase until every person over 65 is vaccinated. Anything else is “unfair” I agree that we need to work on equity. I’ve said before that I think the process will work better if we get vaccines to the where the people are. If doctors and local pharmacies have the vaccine people can access them easier without having to go to multiple online registration sites to try to get scheduled. It should be easier, but that doesn’t make it unfair for someone who qualifies to get a shot.
I need to go back to where I was before where I wanted to get vaccinated as soon as possible, but the anticipation and irritation of the system didn’t overwhelm me. My mistake was looking at all the registration sites to see which ones were easier. That’s when I stumbles on the fact that Walgreens let me schedule an appointment by saying I had a health condition. That’s how I ended up with an appointment I now have to cancel. That combined with so every other state moving to the next phase while we won’t has really messed with my mental health this week.