Give Someone Else a Shot at the Vaccine
I’ve been eligible to take the Covid-19 vaccine since the middle of February and appreciate that my healthcare provider e-mailed to advise I could receive the vaccine. Scheduling a vaccination appointment was next to impossible, however, in the New York City — Metro area.
I bided my time and was patient in checking for availability. Every day I would log on to New York State’s Covid-19 website, and every day, I’d see that I could make an appointment…if I wanted to travel 250 to 400 miles away from where I live.
I finally scheduled an appointment on April 1st, for April 27th, a mere 150 miles from home. I was not happy about it but made the appointment anyway, hoping I would find something closer to my suburb before the end of the month.
The miracle happened yesterday afternoon when I was able to schedule a last-minute appointment a few blocks away. I was able to book the two appointments I needed for the Pfizer vaccine and have received my first shot.
After I received confirmation of the appointments by email, I called the New York State Covid-19 hotline to cancel my original April 27th appointment. When I spoke to the hotline representative, she thanked me for calling to cancel. I asked her if she has been getting cancellation calls and she said, “There are so many people who make the appointments, and then don’t show up. They don’t bother to call to cancel.”
In my opinion that’s lazy, selfish, and despicable.
Over the past few months, I’ve flipped through page after page on Facebook, seeing friends post photos of their vaccination cards or sharing news of their first and second shots. At times it has caused me to feel jealous and angry. I would think, “When will it be my turn?” I understand wanting to share news of being vaccinated: it signals relief, a sense of safety, and the possibility that there is an ending to the suffering, even if there’s no clear way to know when (or if) this will end.
Am I relieved, even after receiving the shot?
After hearing that appointments are not being canceled, I think it’s better to put the venue of Medium to use and to write this story to say:
Cancel an appointment when you won’t make it. Someone else wants their turn at getting a shot — one which may very well save their life or the life of someone they love.