Vaccinated individuals comparing themselves to others is often empathetic and compassionate, but ultimately unproductive, said Jessica Stern, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor at NYU Langone Health.
“Individuals don’t necessarily need to concern themselves with those systems to decide if they are deserving,” she said. “Responding to Covid is a communal team effort. As much as we have to work as a team to adopt safety precautions, it’s also our responsibility to get the vaccine.”
Gestures of guilt or wanting to wait to get the shot might end up holding up the system further, she said. Still, feeling guilty is natural when rollout has been haphazard and Americans have been flooded with conflicting messages from state and federal authorities.