You’re not selfish for taking the vaccine appointment

Summer Merkle | Cartoonist

With vast efficacy and limited supply, everyone wants it and relatively few qualify to get it. It? The COVID-19 vaccine.

Of those who qualify, some have decided to hold off to let those “sicker than them” get the vaccine first. Although incredibly kind, this practice is hindering the public more than it’s helping.

Get the vaccine when your turn comes around.

Vaccine distribution has been disorderly from the beginning. With no federal guiding force, distribution has been left up to hospitals already drowning in the frontlines of the pandemic.

There was initially a large delay in the distribution of doses, and many sat stored away for extended periods of time.

Individual states have now set guidelines for how these doses are being distributed and who qualifies to get them — leading some to travel over state lines seeking COVID-19 protection.

Those chasing after these limited doses might seem selfish but are actually the ones doing exactly what needs to happen.

They are helping us reach the goal of herd immunity.

This is most definitely not said in an effort to encourage line-cutting — frontline workers and immunocompromised individuals need protection before the rest of the population — however, if you qualify and are able to travel the extra distance for the dose, sign yourself up.

Contrary to public assumptions, you are not “stealing” the dose from anyone.

The disorganized manner of vaccine distribution has led to masses of vaccines in areas with few qualified individuals to receive them and few vaccines in highly populated areas and areas dense with high-risk individuals.

Vaccine doses are being thrown away at the end of the day.

At this point, all we can do is get the doses when they are available to us.

We have heard some individuals complain that those providing leftover doses to the general public at the end of the day should be stopped. They argue since this guarantees these people a second dose, it is taking a dose away from someone who needs it more.

This argument is simply inaccurate.

With vaccine production and distribution increasing by the day, a month from now vaccine accessibility will be so much greater than it is currently.

Additionally, every dose administered to a person rather than thrown away takes us one step closer to the main goal — herd immunity.

When it is your turn, whether it be after waiting on a list or because you were in the pharmacy at just the right time, do not feel guilty taking the dose.

The injection going into any body benefits all bodies. The way we will get through this, together, is through herd immunity.