Some senior citizens frustrated trying to get vaccine appointment

Some senior citizens frustrated trying to get vaccine appointment

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — Some senior citizens said they are concerned because they feel like they are getting skipped in line for a COVID-19 vaccination.

Melba Mims, of Gaston County, said at least five of her loved ones survived after contracting the coronavirus. Two others have died.

“That’s why I’m so cautious,” Mims said. “And that’s why I’m so, I hate to say it, afraid to come outside.”

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Mims said she tried calling the county for a vaccine appointment at least three times. She also tried to get an appointment at Walgreens but did not have any luck.

“I watch the news, and I hear that there is a lot in Group 2 that still haven’t gotten their shots,” Mims said. “It’s not like I’m sitting around here not wanting one. I don’t have anybody to help me get one.”

A local pharmacist contacted Channel 9 about the same concerns.

“I have many seniors who are patients and friends, alike, who haven’t been able to get an appointment until as late as April,” the pharmacist wrote.

Group 3 will have access to the vaccine in North Carolina starting Wednesday, which prioritizes nearly a quarter-million educators and school staff who make up the state’s front-line essential workers.

A spokesperson said that some providers may not be ready to open to front-line essential workers if providers are still experiencing high demand in groups 1 and 2.

Health officials said equitable access is everyone’s responsibility, which means “taking intentional actions to reach and engage historically marginalized communities.”

Mims said she has struggled with technology and transportation to vaccination sites.

Last month, the state set aside $2.5 million to pay for public transportation to help get people to their appointments.

Teachers, other school staff in NC eligible to sign up for COVID-19 vaccine