Ask Scary Mommy is Scary Mommy’s advice column, where our team of “experts” answers all the questions you have about life, love, body image, friends, parenting, and anything else that’s confusing you.
This week: What should you do when it’s technically your turn for the vaccine, but you think others deserve it more? Do you make an appointment now, or wait a few months until vaccines are available for the general public? Have your own questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Scary Mommy,
I recently learned that I’m eligible to get the COVID vaccine due to the industry I work in, but I don’t know if I should get it yet. I definitely want to get the vaccine (YAY, science!), but I feel like others need it more than I do. I don’t have pre-existing conditions and I’m in my late 30s. Should I get the vaccine or wait a little longer?
Let me put this clearly: GET THE VACCINE ASAP.
Okay, I’m sorry I yelled. I truly understand your internal conflict. I work in an industry that is next up in my state for eligibility, but since I work from home and I’m relatively healthy, I felt conflicted about whether I should get the vaccine as soon as I was eligible or if I should wait until it was open to the general adult population.
This article changed all that: If You’re Offered a Vaccine, Take It
Basically the premise is this… the system is fucked up, but you not getting a vaccine when you’re eligible because you think others deserve it or need it more doesn’t change the system. It doesn’t guarantee that it’ll go to someone that you deem to be higher risk. And you don’t get a prize for letting others go first because you think they should; you do, however, put yourself and others at risk.
So instead, consider that you’re doing your part for the health of others who aren’t yet eligible by getting the vaccine as soon as it is available to you.
If you still feel conflicted and uneasy, you can offer to help folks navigate the confusing AF system of scheduling a vaccine appointment. You can volunteer at food pantries or help out at your kids’ school. Lord knows, teachers can use all the help they can get these days. You can advocate for vaccine safety or drive folks without transportation to their appointments.
But get the vaccine.
Sure, there are haters out there. Hell, a comment thread in a Facebook group I’m in recently needed to be shut down because folks started going after a dude who said he qualified for a vaccine because he volunteered twice a week in a food pantry. FFS, people. Do NOT go after the food pantry volunteers. I mean, come on.
Here’s the bottom line: The system is a fucked up and chaotic mess, but every shot in every arm helps all of us. Unless you’re lying about your situation to qualify for a vaccine (in which case, I hope you get a raging case of explosive diarrhea in public) or traveling outside of your geographic area to get a shot in a disenfranchised community, I got nothing but love for you. No judgment. Maybe a teensy bit of envy, sure. But no judgment.
So roll up your sleeve, get that poke, and feel no guilt.
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