Vaccine FOMO is real. Here’s how to deal with it

Vaccine FOMO is real. Here’s how to deal with it

Enlarge (credit: Michael Ciaglo | Getty Images)

It’s late on a Tuesday night, and you’re running through your usual routine. You go through your social media, blocking everyone who has posted an ecstatic shot selfie. You check, and double-check, your state’s eligibility requirements. Maybe you monitor your state’s daily vaccine counts; maybe you have the page bookmarked.

If this describes you, you may have the symptoms of vaccine envy. This condition is characterized by jealousy, anger, or frustration at the fact that so many people—but not you!—have already received lifesaving protection from Covid-19. Yes, President Biden has announced that all Americans will be eligible for the vaccine by May 1. But after a year, waiting these last few weeks or months seems like the hardest of all.

Being stressed out is a normal response. Psychologists call this “painful uncertainty.” It’s a uniquely aggravating condition associated with life-changing situations where you have no control over the outcome. It’s also pretty common, as anyone who has waited for a positive pregnancy test or a call back from a job interview can tell you.

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