Washington joins a growing number of states where seniors are expressing frustration over not being able to schedule vaccine appointments. As a result, pop-up clinics and mobile vaccine units in underserved communities and new appointment systems are being introduced as a means of getting more seniors in the state vaccinated, a local news outlet reported.
“I have been trying for weeks to secure the vaccine — it seems Impossible!” wrote 83-year-old Sally Johnson in an email to an NBC TV affiliate. “I have major heart problems and am in early-stage heart failure.”
“As a state, we’re still well below 50% [of those eligible, vaccinated] so we have work to do to catch everybody up,” Michele Roberts, the assistant secretary of health for the state Department of Health, said.
“We have a new appointment system coming online soon,” offered Dr. Chris Sitters, health officer for the Snohomish County Health District. “We’re currently doing the internal testing and training of staff.” Sitters said a call center also has been added and that an easier-to-navigate website with a waitlist feature will be released soon.
Seniors in Washington State are not alone. In various states throughout the country, seniors have complained that they cannot book immediate appointments, and struggle with technology and transportation to vaccination sites. Earlier this month, experts sounded the alarm about a growing divide between seniors who are tech-savvy and socially supported, and those who are not.