Why I Can't Yet Get Vaccinated

Monday, April 26, 2021

Nobody uses the term "FOMO" anymore, but right now, it's the only phrase that seems to fit my situation, Because ugh, I have such bad FOMO.

Now that every adult in the U.S. is eligible for the COVID vaccine, we who believe in the power of science should all be celebrating, right? And I am! Just... not for myself. Not yet.

In mid-March, the day after I turned the corner in terms of a few days of brutal COVID symptoms (including tachycardia, sweating, body aches, & more), I went to a nearby Cleveland Clinic* location to receive a monoclonal antibody infusion, a COVID treatment recommended for elderly & obese individuals who have asthma. My BMI just barely qualified me, but I was thrilled to be able to be shot up with antibody therapies that made me feel better within hours and made it safe for me to return to the world once I tested negative.

Here's the catch: After you've received a monoclonal antibody infusion, you can't get the COVID vaccine for 90 days.  

At the time, that seemed fine. Nobody under 65 was eligible for the vaccine then, anyway, & it seemed incomprehensible that we soon would be. Everyone, including me, assumed that by the time my antibodies wore off, I'd be in line with everyone else to finally get vaccinated. 

We figured it would be awhile. It has not been.

Now, nearly everyone I know is either already or on their way to being fully vaccinated, meaning they've received both shots and are past the two-week wait period following their second vaccine. My husband, my mom, & most of our friends are in the clear (relatively speaking, as the vaccine still isn't 100% effective). 

As for me? Well, I'm still running on antibodies. But I can't actually get vaccinated until June 15th at the earliest. My plan is to get vaccinated that very day, but still... that's a ways off!

This also means that at the start of June, as my antibodies start to wind down, I'll be going back into quarantine for a bit. Then I'll have to get my first shot... & wait for my second shot... & wait the two-week period afterward... 

The good news is that, with so many people in my life fully vaccinated, I'll probably still be able to do some things with friends with friends during that time without feeling unsafe. But it will also mean no more Target trips, no more grocery store visits, no travel, etc. While the world is opening up, I'll have to put my life back on hold.

So no, I'm not yet vaccinated, but it's not because I don't believe in science; in fact, it's precisely because I believe in science. I'm so grateful for the antibody infusion that helped me quickly recover from COVID, & even though it means a longer wait to be safe in the long-run, it's worth it. 

And when June 15th comes, you'd better believe I'm gonna celebrate. Quietly. Alone inside my own home.

Full disclosure: Though it was not the case at the time of my illness, I am now employed by the Cleveland Clinic. I am not a doctor or medical professional, however, and nothing I have said in this post should be interpreted as healthcare advice or guidance. 

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