I’m Getting Vaccinated! Is That Fair?

And Does That Matter?

Roz Warren
Jan 15 · 3 min read
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Image for post
Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash

At 66, I am in a high risk category for getting COVID.

Still, when I learned that the CDC had determined that a bunch of folks deserved to get vaccinated before I did, I agreed with their decision.

Doctors. Nurses. Teachers. People in nursing homes. People in prisons. Anyone who works with the public.

I lost my library job because I refused to work with the public during the pandemic. Instead? I’ve stayed safe and stayed home. I only leave my house for a daily (outdoor, socially distanced) visit with my sister, and dental emergencies.

My rule of thumb for surviving the pandemic? I don’t go into buildings. Stores. Supermarkets. The bank. My favorite local restaurants.

If I can’t order it in? I do without.

I was ready to patiently wait my turn for a long time while more deserving folks got vaccinated.

Even though I live in Philadelphia and both my grandsons live in California. Including the baby, who was born last March and whom I’ve only met on Zoom. That’s no way for a grandma to meet her grandson!

When my local government created a vaccination signup list, I put my name on it. I was in category three, which meant that I’d have to wait until everyone in the first two categories got vaccinated.

My goal? To get to California in time for the birth of my third grandson this April.

A doctor friend who works with COVID patients told me that, given the risk category I was in and how slowly the vaccination program was moving, I had only a 50/50 chance of reaching this goal.

And then? My sister’s best friend Lynne heard that Rite Aid was scheduling vaccination appointments. And you could get one if you were over 65.

Being 66 suddenly jumped me to the head of the line! I could get my shot as quickly as somebody who works with the public. How? Why? Does that make any sense?

Nope.

But I rushed to the website and nabbed one of the last appointments available. (Well, actually, two. One for the initial shot and one a month later for the booster.)

So this Wednesday, I’ll get vaccinated at the Rite Aid! Yippee! Hurrah! Hallelujah! (Thank you, Rite Aid, for making this happen!)

Do others deserve to get vaccinated before me? Probably. If I hadn’t grabbed those appointments, would they have gone to more worthy recipients? Maybe.

But it’s just as likely that another 66 year old would have snapped them up.

So? To quote Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Alexander Hamilton — “I’m not throwing away my shot!”

It’s troubling and ironic that I will get vaccinated at the Rite Aid before folks who do much risker things, COVID-wise, than me, like, for instance, working at the Rite Aid.

But it’s not surprising. This is typical of the way everything about this pandemic has unfolded. Nobody is really in charge and everything is pretty random. It’s a mess — but once in a while, something good can happen.

For me that something is that I might get to safely travel to California to finally meet my grandson. And maybe even be there for the birth of his little brother.

Wish me luck.

( Writing Coach and Medium Sherpa Roz Warren writes for everyone from the Funny Times to the New York Times, has been in 13 Chicken Soup for the Soul collections, and is the author of Our Bodies, Our Shelves: Library Humor . Drop her a line at roSwarren@gmail.com.)

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