Guilt, Envy, Distrust: Vaccine Rollout Breeds Mixed Emotions

This image shows part of a Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021 Instagram post by Jeff Klein of Austin, Texas, holding his COVID-19 vaccination card. The 44-year-old musician notes he was given a shot as a volunteer at a mass vaccination hub at the Alamodome in San Antonio. ”I definitely mentioned it on purpose, because I didn’t want people to get the wrong idea,” (Jeff Klein via AP)

(AP) — As the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines widens in the U.S., varying eligibility rules and unequal access to the coveted doses are sometimes breeding feelings of guilt, envy and judgement. That’s particularly when the seemingly young and healthy are sharing that they got their shots. The second-guessing is being fueled by reports of line skippers. Nancy Berlinger, a bioethicist with the Hastings Center, says envy and moral judgements about who deserves to be prioritized are understandable and could reflect anxieties about being able to get vaccines for ourselves or our loved ones. But she notes reasons for eligibility aren’t always obvious.


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