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“We are patiently asking people”: COVID-19 vaccine booking is a shot in the dark for many


Linda Briggs’ husband was born in 1943. This means that on one of Texas’s designated vaccination hub registration sites, you had to click more than 930 times to enter your husband’s date of birth.

“When I arrived in the 1950s, my finger hurt by clicking on it many times,” she said. At that time, she noticed that there was a drop-down menu that she could use to enter her date of birth. “I felt stupid, but that’s what happens when you’re searching so hard and so fast because you know things [appointment slots] It’s going to be full. ”

Briggs, 78, was trying to jump over every hoop to vaccinate her husband, who has just finished radiation therapy for prostate cancer and is considered at high risk of heart failure.

“It’s life and death due to his condition,” his doctor told him, “you probably won’t be able to get COVID and survive.”

Linda Briggs recently took a picture with her husband, Richard, who completed radiation therapy for prostate cancer. The couple were unable to make an appointment for the coronavirus vaccine until March 9.

Linda Briggs

She even sought to find a way to take her husband, Richard, the principal of a retired school, to El Paso, more than a 12-hour drive from his home in Beaumont. However, there were no slots available. Jefferson, her county with a population of over 200,000, does not have its own vaccination hub.

“I feel like I have various forms of privilege to get promises.”

— Emma Roth, 30, a civil rights lawyer in Brooklyn, NY, was able to book a vaccination appointment for her mother, 65, next week.

According to the Texas Department of Health and Welfare, the state only allocates vaccines to large cities around the state “to vaccinate more than 100,000 people.”

“I have tried so many hubs,” she said. People over the age of 65, such as husbands, who are pre-existing to become infected with the coronavirus are not prioritized.

Finally, Briggs was able to secure a March 9 promise for her and her husband. It’s two months away.

Lara Anton, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Health, told MarketWatch that “vaccine supply is still limited by both the manufacturer’s production capacity and the amount allocated to Texas by the federal government. It’s important to understand. ” “People wait patiently while the vaccine supply is limited.”

Americans competing effectively with each other to get vaccinated

Prior to January, in most states, vaccine doses were assigned only to front-line healthcare professionals and caregivers, as recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Welfare, on Tuesday State indicated Lower priority and start vaccination of other groups, such as those over 65 years old and young people with comorbidities.

In addition to people over the age of 65, some states allow workers who are considered essential, such as teachers, hygiene, and transport workers, to be vaccinated.

However, the larger pool of qualified people made it even more difficult to secure vaccine reservations. Registration sites are notorious for crashing and hold times can exceed several hours.

“I feel I have various forms of privileges and promises,” said Emma Ross, a 30-year-old civil rights lawyer based in Brooklyn, NY. .. -Old mother is scheduled for next week.

“I speak English as my mother tongue. I work from home during a pandemic. I have high-speed internet and unlimited mobile data, and I have experience navigating government websites,” she said. Said.

“But I’m very worried about being left behind by a more vulnerable New Yorker who doesn’t have the time and resources to spend on the work I’ve done,” she added.

Emma Ross told her 65-year-old mother that she was able to book her vaccine through resources she considers privileged, such as advice from friends and high-speed Internet access.

Emma Ross

Still, it wasn’t without hurdles that he succeeded in giving his mother a promise.

“I called over 25 pharmacies and received a ton of automatic voice emails stating that the pharmacies were fully booked or hadn’t received the vaccine yet,” Ross said. She found a pharmacy on the Coronavirus Vaccine Registration Site in New York.

“I’m very worried that more vulnerable New Yorkers will be left behind who don’t have the time and resources to spend on the work I’ve done.”

When she was able to talk to a pharmacy person, she was often told “as long as they knew that their eligibility requirements were only for people over the age of 75.”

Some of the websites she visited were either not functioning properly or were crashing.

After all, thanks to a friend’s advice, she was able to make an appointment with her mother nearly four hours later.

Technology companies like Microsoft Corp.


And International Business Machines Corp.
+ 1.62%

is Providing some of their expertise To overcome some of the logistical challenges facing state and local governments.

However, with the exception of Chicago and Rhode Island, which use Salesforce, some state and local governments are still incorporating them into their proposals.

Vaccination management software.

Meanwhile, New York City’s Ministry of Health relies on Robocall, family doctors, caregivers, community and religious leaders to help technically disadvantaged New Yorkers, especially the elderly.

The Ministry of Health did not directly respond to MarketWatch inquiries regarding efforts being made to assist New Yorkers who do not have the time or resources needed to register for the vaccine.

And Briggs and her husband? She said vaccination in two months would feel like the scene in the movie The Shawshank Redemption. In this scene, one character, Brooks, who has been imprisoned for 45 years, can finally enter the free world, but he doesn’t want it. To.

“I’ve been at home for 10 months. I don’t want to put on makeup and start wearing bras again,” Briggs said.


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