After a year of lockdowns and enduring isolation, citizens are slowly going back into the world. Vaccines are rolling out nationwide, giving hope that we’ll soon see a semblance of normalcy. And while we should all be happy for those who have completed their shots, there’s still a tinge of envy for people patiently waiting for their turn.
What is Vaccine Envy?
The term that encapsulates the description above is called vaccine envy. Robert H. Shmerling, M.D. of Harvard Health Publishing defines it as, “The feeling of jealousy, disappointment, or resentment you feel when someone else gets the vaccine for COVID-19 – and you can’t.” It’s hard for some to admit that they’re experiencing this but know that you are not alone.
What causes Vaccine Envy?
Health care workers and front liners are at the top of the priority list, followed by seniors and people living with comorbidities. So when you see others who don’t seem to fit into any of these categories get vaccinated before you, envy takes over. It’s testing everyone’s patience, and it’s quickly running out. Seeing vaccine selfies on the internet, pictures of vaccination cards, and knowing others can now live less anxiously doesn’t help, either.
How to Deal with Vaccine Envy?
You could probably mute friends who post about their vaccinations until you get your shot. But is it worth the hassle of going through the hundreds of faces on your friend list? Here’s the thing: human emotions are complex. You can be happy for others while simultaneously having vaccine envy. Keep in mind the delay is caused by several factors, like online appointment glitches and lack of supplies.
The vaccine rollout is taking longer than we anticipated, but it’s a step closer to reaching herd immunity. If you have a case of vaccine envy, there’s no need to be ashamed. It’s a valid feeling, and it might be a while before people stop having these symptoms.