When Vaccine Thoughts Consume Me

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.

19 thoughts on “When Vaccine Thoughts Consume Me

  1. Keep the appointment!!!! I understand the guilty feelings. I went through something similar here in Pennsylvania last week. Long story, but I kind of lucked into an open vaccine slot at a pharmacy at the last minute, without being technically qualified for our current “phase.” I almost canceled out of guilt. But after talking to my pharmacist friend, I kept the appointment. She assured me that the goal is to get the shots in as many arms as possible. That the “rules” are really “guidelines”. That there is suddenly a lot more availability than there was even 10 days ago, and they end up with leftovers almost every day because people are not showing up for their second doses, or have scheduled multiple appointments in the attempt to get their first. That just because your health condition doesn’t fall into some arbitrary categories decided by the state doesn’t make it meaningless. That every single person who gets vaccinated is contributing to the solution. She told me to jump at any chance to get the shot if an opportunity presented itself. So I did. I felt guilty until I was sitting there with my sleeve rolled up and I overheard the people in the pharmacy take two vaccine cancellation phone calls for that same day… They clearly had plenty of availability. I say go for it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Keep the appointment! I doubt they’ll turn you away. Even if they do, they post appointment updates at the end of the day so that there’s no wasted vaccine. What have you got to lose? You haven’t done anything wrong.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I liked this quote: “If we were sorting out vaccine opportunities at a fine grain level, you would probably not be selected,” Dan Wikler, a medical ethicist and vaccine ethics specialist at Harvard’s School of Public Health, said. “But we’re not, and we shouldn’t. You can’t do it. The idea is just get people in there and jab them like crazy. Try to get as many Americans, everyone, as fast as we can. It’s the one ray of hope, it’s our best shot.” From this article: https://www.google.com/amp/s/mashable.com/article/covid-vaccine-privilege-guilt.amp

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My husband got his appointment for this Friday because he has asthma. We just announced 60 and over, so I’m guessing my subset is next. States having varying rules is confusing. I know some are going over stare lines. I don’t know what’s fair…all I know is that us all getting vaccinated as quickly as possible (those who choose to) is in the best interest of all. Though I’m still pissed by CDC guidelines…cause what aren’t they telling us?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have serious mixed feelings. I know the guilt will consume me if I get the shot, but I also know all the reasons people give for me to just do it. I will likely end up canceling unless Hogan makes a move to Phase 2 today or tomorrow(not likely) Which CDC guidelines?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No guilt. You betting the shot exponentially saves how many lives? Also….other states have different guidelines. If you lived in Pennsylvania people with high BMI are eligible. Geography shouldn’t be a reason.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yeah, I get that you should wear one when it is still the law, but studies out of Israel where they have vaccinated way more people shows Pfizer is 90% effective in stopping transmission. I’m not sure why the CDC is hesitant to believe that


      3. Makes no sense and as I mentioned yesterday I agree with Dr Wen when she says stuff like that increase vaccine hesitancy. If you are already wavering and they tell you not much will change if you get it then why bother


  4. If the governor announced that statewide, you could get vaccinated, then going to Walgreen’s for an appointment that they gave you is okay. Honestly, I was annoyed when I heard about people jumping the line who had no apparent underlying issues or comorbidities. That said, if you have one of the conditions they list, then you’re within your rights to be vaccinated. My sister, brother-in-law, and I were frustrated, stressed, and angry that we had such a hard time finding appointments when we were legitimately part of the current phase (1B here in VA). They made it so hard! We’re all planning to wear masks and social distance in public even after we’re fully vaccinated. I will more than likely have to be masked when I visit my grandson mid-April, just to be on the safe side with a 3-month-old baby. Until everyone is vaccinated, I think it’s best not to take chances, knowing that none of the vaccines is 100% effective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The problem is that the governor did not open up availability for people with health conditions. Technically I should not have the appointment at Walgreens. I think they have one system and trust people will only sign up if they meet state qualifications


  5. I fall under one underlying factor of being obese yet I still can’t seem to get an appointment. I also had Covid last March/April…I personally think anyone that got it no matter the severity should be at the front of the line, yet here I sit with appointments 😕

    Liked by 1 person

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