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'You Don't Need To Feel Guilty': Lowell Psychologist Says Young People Shouldn't Wait To Get Vaccine

LOWELL (CBS) - More groups of people have begun becoming eligible for the coronavirus vaccine, and for some, that's causing guilt and hesitancy, as many still have not yet gotten it or have been unable to get an appointment.

Greater Lowell Health Alliance Psychologist Dr. Hannah Tello says this is happening with a lot of young adults with pre-existing conditions who can get the COVID vaccine now, but are opting to wait.

But in a TikTok video, she explains that the so-called "vaccine hesitancy" isn't very logical.

"So a lot of people I know who are eligible for the COVID vaccine are saying that they feel guilty for being eligible, and I'm here to tell you why you don't really need to feel guilty...Number one, it's noble to think if you don't get the vaccine, that vaccine would go to someone that is 'more worthy'. But in practice, that's not what's going to happen. I wish it would, but that's not how the system is built. Number two, the best thing we can do for someone who can't or won't get the vaccine is to vaccinate everybody around that person. That's what herd immunity, not thinning the herd like we've heard for the last year. And last, when Phase Three opens, at least here in Massachusetts, it's going to be a cluster. So many people become eligible in the next phase. so the more people we can move through the line now, the better it's going to be for those people when they are eligible."

Dr. Tello told WBZ-TV why she thinks many young people she knows are showing hesitancy.

"A lot of that hesitation is because so much of our understanding of COVID mortality and morbidity was that the effects of COVID are much more significant if you are older," Dr. Tello said. "A lot of them are feeling hesitant because they feel like they're taking the spot of someone else. But that's just not really how it really works."

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