Ask Amy: When the Vaccine Leads to Hurt Feelings
One person's immunity is another person's FOMO
Dear Amy: Here’s one for the bizarre era in which we are living.
I have been close friends with “Brenda” since we were kids.
We touch base a few times a week (electronically). We are now both 65 and live in the same community.
Like everyone, we’ve been struggling to get COVID vaccinations.
Brenda messaged me, saying, “Our friend called us last-minute to come get vaccinated (at a nearby location), since the pharmacy had leftover vaccine and they wanted to use it up before it went bad, we had to get there quickly, and we did, and got vaccinated.”
I am glad to know that my dear friend and her husband were vaccinated. But, Amy, I am really stung that she did not phone me and tell me about this opportunity.
If she had said, “My friend said there were only two vaccines left, so I didn’t call you,” then I would have been OK with that, certainly. But she didn’t say anything at all.
If the situation had been reversed, I would have called her right away.
I was flummoxed and simply told her I was glad to hear the good news.
But I am feeling hurt and feel like our friendship has been bruised.
I guess I’m hoping that by sharing this it might make people think a little bit, or maybe I just need to “vent.”
– Disappointed in the Northeast
Dear Disappointed: I’ve read of very long lines forming at some vaccine-dispensing pharmacies, sometimes starting well before the pharmacy opens in the morning – all for the chance at snagging a dose of leftover vaccine in the afternoon. Some pharmacies are offering leftover doses, rather than destroy the vaccine at the end of the day (after all of the appointed doses have been given).
Most often, very few doses are available; and so yes, you should assume that in your friend’s case, you would not have been able to snag one, even with a bit of advance notice.
I realize that a sort of “every man for himself” ethic seems to have taken hold regarding the vaccine for COVID (one article described it as more “Lord of the Flies”), but one way to see this is that now that your friend and her husband are vaccinated, this frees up two more doses for others to receive by appointment.
All the same, you should tell your friend how you feel about this.
In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068
© 2021 by Amy Dickinson