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  • Can You Get the COVID Vaccine Early as a Caregiver?

    Posted by Christie Patient on March 17, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    Now that we have several effective vaccines for COVID-19, it feels like the world is standing in a huge queue to get back to “normal life”. While standing in line is not a favorite pastime of most humans, it is especially frustrating for rare disease and disabled communities to have to continue to wait. In many parts of the world, our vulnerable adults have not been prioritized for the vaccine, and continue to isolate and operate with abundant caution until it is their turn.

    The vaccine rollout has been less than smooth in many parts of the world, but it is finally picking up steam in the US. President Biden recently proposed that all adults should be eligible to get vaccinated by May 1st. This is great news for our vulnerable communities and their families.

    Vaccinating our most vulnerable adults will be a huge sigh of relief for me, but what about the caregivers? Things like grocery delivery and drive-up pickup services have provided a safer way for caregivers to take care of essential tasks, but they are tired too. Family member carers who are not hired healthcare workers but nonetheless work with a vulnerable person might have a hard time pleading their case to cut the line. While I have heard of several first-hand accounts of caregivers being allowed to receive a vaccine when their vulnerable family member was vaccinated, many of us are at the bottom of the list based on our health and employment status.

    As a person who is young and healthy, that does not work an essential job, I expected to be getting my vaccine toward the end of the summer. Considering that I am not an active caregiver anymore, I was happy to wait my turn and let people who need it most go before me. Of course, I want to be able to visit my family again–and so many other things–but I am not bearing the weight of fatigue that so many more vulnerable people are. When I was notified that I was eligible for my first round of the Pfizer vaccine through my primary care clinic, I was ecstatic, but also felt horrible guilt and sadness. I wrote about those feelings in my most recent column, if you’d like to read more.

    Are you a caregiver that’s been vaccinated early? Was it at the same time as the person you care for or did you have to make a strong case to get yourself an appointment? Do you have tips on how to navigate that process for others?

    Christie Patient replied 3 years, 3 months ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • John Weitner

    Member
    March 22, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    Hi @christie-patient

    You should not feel guilty in the slightest. The advice experts give is when you have the opportunity to get it – take it. What makes this one so different is the huge number of people who are A- symptomatic. You being younger and healthy could very well pick it up – not know you have it,  and easily pass it on to others.

  • Christie Patient

    Moderator
    March 23, 2021 at 12:46 am

    Thanks @johnweitner ! I have been so worried about being an asymptomatic carrier, so I do feel better about getting it early for that reason, too. I have also been sooo careful all year, but even the most careful people can still be exposed. Glad to see you were able to get your vaccines done as well. Charlene and I were just talking about how hard it’s been to get the ball rolling in Canada.

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