‘Vaccine Envy' Grows as More People Get Their Shots. Here's How to Cope

Are you jealous of your family, friends or neighbors that have already gotten vaccinated, while you're still waiting for your own appointment? One psychologist has some advice

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Public health officials warned it would take time to vaccinate everyone who wanted it. But most people didn't expect the feeling that would come from watching others get their doses while they continue to wait.

"Got my second dose at Petco and went straight to Ironside for oysters and a dirty martini," posted a San Diego Reddit user. The post received hundreds of responses, some like these: "So jealous. That’s gonna be my first stop when it’s safe and I’m vaccinated."

On Twitter, some users have posted that the "vaccine envy is real" and "I suffer #VaccineEnvy and I'm pretty sure I'm far from alone."

La Jolla-based Clinical Health Psychologist Christina Huang says the jealousy of others who are able to get vaccine appointments is understandable, especially while some are celebrating publicly on social media.

Posting on social media is "the expression of the ultimate relief that we finally get to go do these things doesn't it feel great? But it also, 'Hey look, I'm deemed important and worthy and I want to show that to the world," Huang said.

To those feeling some vaccine envy, Huang has a few tips:

Huang says people shouldn't feel "less worthy or less important" if their job title doesn't make them eligible for the vaccine right away. "The vaccination schedule is based on who is at the highest risk of contracting the virus and who is therefore at highest risk of spreading it."

Do the COVID-19 vaccines reduce the spread of the coronavirus or just hospitalizations? Will you need to get it every year? And can you get by with just one dose? These are just a few of the lingering questions we’ve heard as COVID-19 vaccines roll out across the country. LX News spoke to Dr. Richard Novak, chief of infectious diseases at the University of Illinois at Chicago, to find out what doctors know.

Huang also says you should let go of control and try to accept the "reality of the situation." Envy and resentment are valid emotions, but feeling them will only cause more stress.

Huang says if you're feeling jealousy of those who are vaccinated, remember this isn't an individual effort, but a group one; each dose distributed makes you a little safer.

"Let's hold off and remember we are all working together as one to get out of this once-in-a-lifetime event, but we have to work together," Huang said.

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