Guilt, envy, distrust: Vaccine rollout breeds mixed emotions. Here’s the latest virus news.
The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. is offering hope that the pandemic that has upended life around the world will finally draw to an end. But as distribution widens in the U.S., varying eligibility rules and unequal access to the coveted doses are also breeding guilt, envy and judgment among those who’ve had their doses — particularly the seemingly young and healthy — and the millions still anxiously awaiting their turn.
Adding to the second-guessing about who should be getting shots is the scattershot feel of the rollout, and the sense that some might be gaming the system. Faced with a patchwork of confusing scheduling systems, many who aren’t as technically savvy or socially connected have been left waiting even as new swaths of people become eligible.
The envy and moral judgments about whether others deserve to be prioritized are understandable and could reflect anxieties about being able to get vaccines for ourselves or our loved ones, says Nancy Berlinger, a bioethicist with the Hastings Center.
In other developments:
- Fully vaccinated Americans can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing, according to long-awaited guidance from federal health officials.
- Several million people stand to save hundreds of dollars in health insurance costs, or more, under the Democratic coronavirus relief legislation on track to pass Congress.
- More than 60 million people, or 18.1% of the U.S. population, have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some 31.2 million people have completed their vaccination, or 9.4% of the population.
- A year after the worldwide coronavirus pandemic stopped sports in their tracks, the aftershocks are still being felt across every sector.
- One year into the pandemic, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak is still attempting to strike the right balance between protecting lives and livelihoods — keeping the state’s tourism and hospitality industry afloat while also containing the coronavirus.
- Pope Francis said Monday he weighed the risks of a high-profile trip to Iraq during the coronavirus pandemic, but said he decided to go ahead with it after much prayer and belief that God would look out for the Iraqis who might get exposed.
- Israel’s leaders Monday celebrated the country’s 5 millionth coronavirus vaccination on the same day the government began vaccinating Palestinian laborers who work in the country. The time lag has drawn international criticism and highlighted global disparities.
- The National Women’s Hockey League will complete its abbreviated season with two nationally televised semifinals and a championship game some two months after the league suspended its playoffs following a COVID-19 breakout among numerous teams.