There is a new social trend surfacing, vaccine envy. This emerging movement is surprisingly pitting loved ones, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances against each other. Vaccine envy: “where’s mine?”, is one of the hottest topics of conversation. Typically it includes the challenges individuals experience in trying to locate and register for vaccine administration, the associated vaccine administration wait times, and the fear that there may not be sufficient vaccine at the time of your appointment
Vaccine envy, is being expressed by caregivers of those loved ones being cared for at home, and individuals with chorionic health issues that do not quite fit the established criteria. Some are expressing resentfulness over the criteria. Why is priority given to prisoners, tourists, foreigners, and those who found a way to game the system? Therefore, pushing them further to the back of the line. Where’s mine?
Envy, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage,” a discontented longing for someone else’s advantages. That clearly describes the sentiments of vaccine envy: where’s mine? Do you have pent up negative feelings; do you begrudge others in your frustration, disappointment, and longing for the vaccine? Is someone you know expressing such sentiments?
Aristotle defined envy as pain at the sight of another’s good fortune, which also clearly illustrates vaccine envy; others have what we ought to have. Envy was one of the most potent causes of unhappiness according to Bertrand Russell. Envious individuals become unhappy and bitter by these feelings, taking out their frustrations on others, often with harsh words.
What is vaccine envy?
Today, that advantage is the earlier access to one of the COVID-19 vaccines. Do you begrudge your state’s established distribution plan that may place individuals whom you do not think should be vaccinated before you? Realizing that some states (Florida, New York, North Carolina …) are giving the vaccine to non-state residents, tourists, and non-US residents before you; placing you further back in the line. It can be very disappointing and cause some envy. Consider your first reaction once you hear that a friend has “scored” a vaccine registration appointment; congratulating them on their good fortune or are you thinking of your misfortune, that it is not your time?
Taking Action: Trying to get vaccinated
Check your perceptions and perspective. Consider how are you coping, what emotions are you experiencing? How would others view your words and actions?
Once you meet the vaccine administration eligibility criteria, the process of actually getting registered can be very frustrating.
- Sign up for alerts from the media relating to vaccines
- Share alerts between friends
- Call the free 211 (information and referral service) and 311 (non-emergency town services)
- Enter Vaccine + country into your internet search bar for updated county resources
- Check your County & State health department websites for updated information
- Consider going to a neighboring county
- Check with clinics and health systems (some health systems have set up waiting lists. Check your patient portals)
Now that I have been vaccinated
This is not the time to let your guard down, remember that immunity is not instantaneous. It takes several weeks for your body to build antibodies, and you are still susceptible during the this time period. In fact, two vaccine doses are needed for optimal protection.
- Continue to wear your mask and practice physical distancing
- Show gratitude, express your good fortune positively
- Say a prayer of thanksgiving/gratitude after getting your vaccine
- Helping others register or get to their appointment
- Donate towards administration fees that may not be covered