When hospital workers and physicians first started being immunized with the Pfizer vaccine two weeks ago, many posted photos on Facebook and Instagram. I thought that was good to show that they believed in the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and to encourage their patients to get vaccinated when the vaccines were available. I posted a photo on this blog for that very reason. But before I go any further, here is the plan developed by the Texas Department of State Health Services:
What’s Next with the COVID‑19 Vaccine in Texas
Texas continues to receive doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, and is distributing statewide to hospitals, pharmacies, local health departments, freestanding ERs and other clinics.
Who’s getting the vaccine first?
Front-line healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities are the first Texans to receive the vaccine, starting December 14. They are considered Phase 1A.
Who’s getting the vaccine next and when?
Phase 1B vaccine recipients will likely be able to get the vaccine starting in January 2021. These include people 65 years of age and older, and people over age 16 with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at greater risk.
I’m working with HEB pharmacy as directed by the Bexar County Medical Society to get my employees immunized with the second approved vaccine, Moderna. Unlike other physician offices, we never closed at the onset of the pandemic. We quickly came up with a plan that utilized changes in scheduling, physical barriers and the use of PPE (personal protective equipment) to mitigate the risk to patients and staff during office visits. I received several photographs of individuals who were not medical personnel getting their injections at the pharmacy. I must say I found this annoying that they received it while my employees are still waiting. I could have predicted that people would find a way to cut to the front of the line. Americans are not great at standing in lines. Some even employ people to keep their place in lines for desirable events. But the vaccinees then posted their photos online. I may be wrong, but I don’t think their intent was to show that they endorsed the safety and efficacy of the Moderna vaccine. Rather, I think they wanted to show that they received it before you did. I am afraid that we will see in the days, weeks and months to come, a new harmful social phenomenon on social media, FOMOV. Fear of Missing Out on Vaccines. This pandemic will continue to bring out the best and the worst in people.
My advice is if you have the good fortune on the basis of your connections to get immunized before healthcare workers and residents of long term facilities that you have the good sense and taste to sit on your hands and don’t post your photograph on social media.