Article originally published March 2020.
As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues, it seems there may finally be a light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel. But for many of us, being so close – yet so far – from the safety offered by vaccination can cause feelings of restlessness and anticipation.
While you’re waiting for your COVID-19 vaccine, keep the following in mind:
Be an active member in your vaccination effort.
With the demand for COVID-19 vaccines high and supply still limited, it’s important to be an active member in your vaccination efforts. Stay informed on current vaccination phases, be aware of your eligibility, research nearby vaccine locations and register with as many organizations as possible.
Because vaccination locations are receiving doses on a week-by-week basis from the state and federal governments, many facilities are unable to schedule appointments further than a week or two in advance. In some cases, you may even be made aware of your vaccine appointment only days before you receive your first dose.
Until supply increases and vaccines become more readily available, you may be able to increase your chance of immunization by joining several waitlists. Stay up to date on vaccine locations near you by visiting the Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard.
Continue to be patient.
It may feel impossible to remain patient in a world of waiting lists and vague timelines, but it’s important to remember that we all share the same goal. Across the world and right here in our community, vaccine administrators, recipients and those awaiting immunization are working to create a safer, healthier tomorrow.
Vaccines are being distributed to patients as quickly as they are being received, and every dose administered is a small victory in our fight against COVID-19. While it’s easy to become restless, anxious and impatient, it helps to remind ourselves that this time one year ago, we had no idea when – or if – effective vaccines would be available.
Day-by-day, we are heading toward a brighter future, and just as important now as it was so many months ago, we must continue to work together. Be patient, stay safe and protect one another.
Commit to protecting yourself and others.
Whether you have received your vaccine or are anxiously awaiting your dose, continue following public health and safety guidelines. Regardless of vaccine status, you should:
- Wear a mask
- Practice social distancing
- Wash and sanitize your hands often
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces
- Avoid touching your mouth, eyes and nose with unwashed hands
- Avoid crowds, including large gatherings, events and public transportation
- Keep your social circle small, responsible and consistent
- Stay informed with accurate, credible information
- Get your vaccine when it becomes available
While waiting to be vaccinated may feel frustrating right now, remember that distribution efforts and vaccine availability will continue to improve as supply increases. Eventually, the goal is to have enough doses available so that anyone who wishes to receive a vaccine can do so easily and conveniently. In the meantime, stay safe, be patient and remain optimistic.