I received an automated e-mail earlier this week from a local drug store reminding me that I had a scheduled appointment for my second AstraZeneca vaccine shot. Of course, this reminder is no longer relevant as is the appointment because I’ve already received my second shot over six weeks ago. If we think back to the heady days of the spring of 2021, vaccine availability and guidance about the time between shots were things in constant motion.
At the end of April, I received an AstraZeneca shot and at that time, it was expected that I could get another shot four months from then, which would mean August. It’s my understanding this was based on vaccine availability and the acceptable time frame in between shots. I was prepared to go almost the entire summer being only partially vaccinated, a whole sixteen weeks of waiting.
As spring turned into early summer however, vaccine availability became much greater. The sixteen week gap between shots became only eight. Medical advice also recommended that I receive an mRNA vaccine for my second shot as well. That’s what I got when I went for my second shot at the end of June. Even before I got my second shot, the drug store actually called me to see if I was interested in getting a second shot of AstraZeneca but I had already decided I wanted an mRNA shot by then.
This automated e-mail I got this week is a vestige of how we thought the vaccine landscape would be like in the spring. As with many things with this pandemic, things have changed quickly and our expectations did not match up with reality. In this case, this was a good thing as vaccines became more widely available. In some cases, things are worse, like the rise of the Delta variant. It does feel weird, however, knowing that I was originally supposed to be just getting my second shot this week.