A year after the COVID-19 pandemic began, we begin to see a proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. The vaccines began rolling out in December in phases where groups such as health professionals, the elderly and people at high risk first qualified. So far, only 12 percent of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated. Although we have a long way to go to achieve herd immunity, more people are being vaccinated every day, bringing much-needed hope after a difficult year.
I am one of many young people who qualify for the earliest stages of vaccine distribution. And while you may be wondering why I do, I’m not obligated to share this information with you. No one should feel pressured to broadcast their medical history in public, especially not on the Internet.
My health is not a business but my own. I have known people who have been battling cancer, suffering from PCOS and treating heart disease all in silence until one day they felt good about revealing it alone. Our health is sacred to us because it is ours. It’s the one thing we both can and cannot control. What our bodies go through is a private matter until we choose to share it. Asking about someone’s medical history, no matter how good your intentions are, is rude and intrusive.
No one should feel pressured to broadcast their medical history in public, especially not on the Internet.
Fortunately, I have a large circle of friends. When I mentioned that I could get my vaccine faster than later, no questions were asked. However, I know people in their 20s and 30s who have had pressure to explain why they qualified. They felt the verdict from someone who said, “Why are you getting vaccinated before my family?”
I know the verdict can feel harsh, but you do not have to explain yourself to anyone. No one has the right to know the details of your medical history. If you are young and eligible to be vaccinated now, I encourage you to do so without worrying about what others will think. At the end of the day, you need to take care of yourself – and by protecting yourself from COVID-19, you are also taking care of your community.