Likely you turn on the TV today and you hear about “the vaccine”. Like the many other orders and guidance from our leaders around the world and the United States, distribution is being done in a varied amount of methods, especially the latter. Furthermore, when you break it down by states, distribution plans are left up to either the state, county or other local governing board. This makes it very complicated and typically doesn’t have the same vaccination hierarchy.
I am fortunate in my county that our leaders have created a vaccination taskforce, something that many counties are without. State Legislators are advocating for a statewide registry, however while that happens, vaccinations, while being still a choice is left up to the individual, as it is their choice. But if you want to get vaccinated it is a struggle of searching locations and finding clinics among a vaccine shortage. In my state for example, not all individuals are in the top priority. But the state office of human services are prioritizing vaccination needs within the residential facilities. Furthermore, essential workers, including mental health and intellectual disability services are within that top priority.
I personally think that many individuals that want the vaccine are becoming upset when they are unsuccessful, especially when they have to search for that vaccine on their own. Many of us just want to see a light at the end of the tunnel. One must know that if you are vaccinated that following guidance of government such as masking and physical distancing is still required. I personally feel that being vaccinated opens doors to no longer live in fear, although it isn’t a end-all, catch all, its getting there.
When I hear that someone is getting vaccinated, I am quick to judge “why them and not me?” I did this with my father one day when I wasn’t in my right mind and a few other times with others. I am slowly learning to accept the fact that while I am overweight, I am not at the top of the priority for the vaccine and I will get there at some point like everyone else that is in the holding pattern. Many who want the vaccine are just as anxious as I am to have that layer of protection, patience isn’t my strong suit, nor is having an open mind.
While I do want the vaccine as I am in the top tier in my state as not only a person with a high BMI, but also as a essential employee, I do have fears about the side effects. Some, especially after the second dose have experienced a host of physical health issues. As many know, I do not handle being ill well. I guess should this occur to me, this will be a true test on adulting. I know that I need to adult in this area so maybe this will potentially be a way of making me gain the knowledge to do so.
Yes, much is unknown about the vaccine and it side effects. That can be scary for anyone, including an autistic person and those that care for autistics. We in the autistic community have been scarred by vaccination myths for decades now that vaccines cause autism. Same as those that choose not to vaccinate as they have chosen not do prior to the COVID-19 vaccine because of whatever belief they may have that is the one choosing not to do so’s decision and we as a community as autistics and others in the care and advocacy must respect and honor their decision not to do so along with keeping a open mind while taking the proper precautions to keep everyone safe.
Remember, we are all in this together!