Don’t feel bad about getting the vaccine!

If you’re eligible for the shot, just go ahead and take it.

Over the past month, I’ve spoken to more than one friend who has become eligible for the covid vaccine, signed up to get it, and then come down with a case of ethical self-doubt. These friends are what you would describe as generally healthy middle-aged people, and not directly in the line of medical fire. But for various reasons (the nature of their employer, body mass index, etc) they have become eligible. I am personally very prone to overthinking ethics questions, but on this question the answer is absolutely unambiguous: you just take the shot, and you don’t worry about it.

I appreciate that my friends are thoughtful enough people to be given pause by whether they would be selfishly taking the spot of someone who is “more deserving.” The question, obviously, is: does an able-bodied person who certainly could wait it out longer have any obligation to delay beyond their technical eligibility?

If you’re in this position, I’m happy to help you with the answer: no, you have no obligation. Here’s why:

  1. The highly vulnerable have already been vaccinated for months. All of those who were at really high risk for transmission and/or fatality were the first in line, in January and February. The remaining population — you included — is just a huge grab bag of various, mostly lowish risk, people.

So go make that appointment, and talk it up to others so you set a good example of the value of vaccination. And, sure, if it’s the very end of the day, and it’s just you and a very elderly lady at the pharmacy and there’s only one dose left, be a good young person and let the old lady get the last shot. No need to be a jerk about it.

But otherwise? Get the shot, stamp your card, wait your 15 minutes and be happy you’re contributing to one of the most important collective acts of our generation.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store