People are telling stories of their vaccinations. I wasn't going to tell mine but something just happened which impels me to do so.
Availability of the vaccine varies from state to state. In New York where I live, there are eligibility criteria and even when you become eligible there are long delays in getting appointments because millions are trying to squeeze through a narrow bottleneck.
A week ago they made people over 60 years old (like me) eligible. But it took me over a week to be able to schedule an appointment -- and that date is more than five weeks away (late-April). Oh, well, I thought; I'll just wait my turn.
This morning a friend of mine who's politically-connected contacted me privately and said he could get me an earlier appointment -- like tomorrow. Using his influence he'd be able to let me jump the line.
I turned him down.
I've lived long enough to learn that if something feels bad, it is bad. I've regretted some bad choices in my life and know making them was a mistake. Getting the vaccine sooner wouldn't erase feelings of ignoble selfishness.
In the bigger picture, we are in this fight against the virus as a community. We need to protect the community, not our individual selves. Jumping the line pushes others aside, exposing them to risk. Individual selfishness carries real social costs.
Last month two women in their early-thirties dressed up as grandmas and tried to get vaccinated with false IDs saying they were over 65. They succeeded in getting a first shot and were caught getting their second shot. So, yes, people are scheming to get vaccinated before their turn and acting without concern for the rest of society. In my opinion, that's plain wrong.
What do you think?
I think that malicious line jumping (30 year old grannies) is hateful, but I also believe that every vaccination means safety for others.ReplyDelete
Every vaccinated person is one more person not getting, spreading, etc the virus. You're keeping safe those around you who aren't vaccinated yet, can't be vaccinated, are high risk, etc.
I think you need to follow your gut in your specific situation, and I would have made the same choice to wait. I personally am waiting to get mine until a little further down the road as I've already been ill with the virus and have some natural immunity from it.
But I live in the South where MANY are not getting the vaccine. Many outside the current "allowed" groups are getting vaccinated because of low demand in nearby rural counties. We have high populations of Republicans and Antivaxx. But between doses expiring, thousands getting trashed and "no waste" lists, I wouldn't feel guilty about getting on ahead of others if the right opportunity arose.
I also work in a high touch-job situation. While I personally do not touch clients, all of my coworkers work very closely with patients and clients. They're all getting vaccinated before me. I'm glad for the extra protection myself and for our unfortunate number of self identified clients who will not vaccinate.
My city is about to reach "20% vaccinated" via this mass event at the downtown stadium. I have mixed feelings because our political leaders are advertising reopening, encouraging tourism and mass gatherings already. 20% isn't even to "go back to normal", but my city runs almost entirely on tourism and mass gatherings (music venues, conventions, medical tourism). Mask mandates are expiring all around here and not being renewed.
Situations for getting vaccinated look very different between states (say New York versus North Dakota), and we should be sensitive to how dense populations are having to move slower.
Ultimately I don't think anyone should "scheme" to get the vaccine (especially in areas with limited quantity) but I also think if a reasonable opportunity comes to get a jab, get it without guilt.
Many areas of the country are rushing to re-open way before it's safe. Pressure to resume tourism and business exists but it's a poor reason to let people get sick. It reminds me of the beginning of "Jaws" where the Mayor of a seashore town ignores sharks because his town wants to make money.Delete
We have been fortunate that in our community in Philly there are enough vaccines for everyone. I received my second shot last month. In my opinion it is wrong to jump the line when so many people are still waiting. Unfortunately, we live in a society where those politically connected or with the financial means, can do as they please without any consequences.ReplyDelete
Exactly. I'm glad you were able to get your shots. The availability varies across the country.Delete
Vaccination to covid feels like the proverbial 'golden ticket' for many who are covid weary or terrified of getting it. I agree with you that you did the right thing and are waiting your turn, but many don't and do scheme and find devious ways to obtain it. We've seen people flying here and there to get it.ReplyDelete
In BC they had it set up in phases. Phase 1 was to vaccinate longterm care homeworkers and residents, healthcare workers in high risk hospital units. We've now moved onto phase 2 were the remaining hospital workers were vaccinated and the vaccine by age category was started. A new phase was just rolled out to catch all essential workers in the community.
We've had lots of setbacks with confusion as to who gets it when, and then there is the booking system, which was with call centre and that is where the bottle neck happened, the system could not handle the colume of calls and no appointments were being made. Now they're doing it better and designating age ranges to call on specific days. They've also added an online platform which should help. I know I've strayed from the original topic, but here is why,mwhen government rolls out programs they're never simple or easy to access and it creates further inequity because those who have means or connection can find ways to queue jump. My other concern is people are just giving up on mask wearing and social distancing, even if vaccinated and should keep on with these measures. This vaccine will not eradicate covid it just stops you from getting severely ill and covid can still carried in your nasopharynx and can be passed to others. The variants are also a worry because if they get hold we are in for higher transmissibility and it has been proven to be more lethal.
I'm glad your getting vaccinated and your post was thought provoking!
That's a really clever idea regarding booking! They did something similar regarding unemployment applications in my state to keep the system from being overwhelmed. I wish they'd implement something similar.Delete
Thanks for the feedback, Darlene. I value your opinion both because you're smart and because your area of the world differs from mine.Delete
Ah, I like a good post which involves opinions like this. Well done for making the right decision. In this case, I do think it sounded a bit dodgy and I would have refused too.ReplyDelete
If, with the Pfizer vaccine, it HAS to be used up before it gets too warm, I think that the vaccines being thrown away at the end of the day would be a terrible, terrible thing, so I think, if it CAN be used on someone, then that's a good thing, no matter their age. My sister, who is 45, got hers this week, because she heard about a place wanting to use up spare vaccines at the end of the day, and she is a frontline worker who faces hostile action from the public possibly, but she got hers honestly, with no deception. I have heard about people in my profession phoning up to book a vaccine appointment ahead of time, not sure if that's true or not, but I won't be doing anything like that, just waiting for my correct turn, not seeking anything different. If, however, I did know some vaccine would be thrown away and I was in a position to be able to get it and there were no other takers available at that time, I would do it (not that I think I'd ever be in this situation as I am not in the know about anything local). But the point is, you know how I feel about things being wasted unnecessarily- this is why I carted 20 tin cans home from school in my bike pannier, alongside all my shopping AND my school stuff and why I had a box full of 30 used teabags, so I could empty them on my garden and why I am the weirdo who takes ALL my own stuff everywhere to avoid disposables- if I can avoid any sort of waste or ensure the waste gets to the right place it can have a 'second life' I will do that.
I'm totally in support of not wasting the vaccine. That wasn't, however, the option presented to me. I was offered a chance to push someone else out-of-line who would otherwise have gotten a dose. No good would have come from that.Delete
Kezzie, I totally agree there should be no waste of any vaccine and if people can get it that way, nothing wrong in it, it's all about getting shots in arms. They should have a list of people who could be called on that day and asked if they could come at short notice. They have the means to do this in BC, because they are scheduling appointments so they have contact information. I hope all of this teaches health authorities what to do better if and when we encounter situations like this.Delete
I agree you made the right decision. However much I'm longing for it to be my turn, it would never sit right with me if for some reason I was offered to jump the queue. xxxReplyDelete
I've struggled with this.ReplyDelete
As an essential worker with an immunocompromised husband, I have had a lot of feelings about people getting vaccines that don't see to NEED them. My dad and I actually got into an argument about this. Because of his age, he got vaccinated well before me despite the fact that he's retired and has had no problem staying in his home throughout this pandemic. While I'm grateful he was able to get vaccinated, it really hurt me as well, knowing that because of my job I have to be around strangers every day who may or may not be careful when it comes to this virus. And if I catch the virus I could bring it home to my husband, who is immunocompromised.
I believe that if you can get vaccinated you should. But it has been incredibly hard to feel that my life and my husband's life seems to matter less.
I was able to get my first vaccine this weekend and my husband becomes eligible today. Unfortunately we're struggling to get him an appointment.
The whole thing is just a cluster. And at the end of the day I've found myself becoming incredibly selfish because I just can't care about anyone else. I hate that.
I'm sorry for your difficulties. They are not uncommon now due to poor roll-out and widespread selfishness. Thank you for contributing your story which will reach and affect people.Delete
It is what we do when no one is looking that defines our morals just as much (if not more so) as that which transpires in the public eye. It is immensely commendable that you took the high and virtuous road here, Ally. Having had the pleasure of being your friend for several years, I'm not surprised by choice, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I am incredibly proud of you. Had I been in your shoes, I would have made the same choice.ReplyDelete
Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life
I've learned this lesson and I agree it's important. My friends (like you) were chosen because I sense and admire their morality.Delete
I wouldn't have taken it either - I couldn't jump ahead of someone who needed it more. However, I'll be calling and booking my shot as soon as my age group can! My mom just booked hers for a week Saturday! Woo hoo!ReplyDelete
Let's all get shot! I mean...Delete
I'm with you - I've been getting an endless amount of pressure to try to "skip the line" and I simply won't do it. I understand that the more people vaccinated the better, but in my area we have a lot of people who are legitimately eligible and who want the vaccine and still can't get it right away. If I happened to be at a drugstore at the end of the day and someone didn't show up for their appointment and they were going to waste the dose anyway, I'd do it, but I'm definitely not going to actively push anyone out of the way...just going to wait my turn. I applaud you for not taking up the offer.ReplyDelete
Good for you. I admire your sense of morality and community.Delete
I was told by a pharmacist here (at a Publix Supermarket in Florida) that every day there are some people who do not show up for their vaccination appointments. There is a time limit on how long they can keep the vaccine once the packages are open. So they would actually go out into the store and offer it to people that are shopping. Otherwise they would have to destroy the unused vaccine.ReplyDelete