coronavirus vaccine

Some 65+ Still Having Trouble Getting Vaccine Appointment

The governor's office says Connecticut is receiving 95,000 first doses this week and more appointments should open up state-wide.

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About 650,000 more people will become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Connecticut next week.

Ahead of the expanded eligibility, Governor Ned Lamont reminded people who are eligible for the vaccine right now to sign up for an appointment. He warned that it could get crowded.

"Hey, folks 65 and older, speak now or forever hold your peace," Governor Lamont said at his Monday afternoon press conference. "You can make the call, you can make appointments, there are available appointments this week and next week and I would do it."

For some people across the state, that is easier said than done.

“I am just frustrated trying to get through and I don’t have a computer," Lucille Nelson told NBC Connecticut. "Makes it rough."

Nelson is 82 years old. She has been eligible for the vaccine here in Connecticut and she really wants it.

"They tell you it is safer to get it so that is why I am trying," said Nelson.

She is trying, but no luck yet. With no computer access, Nelson has not been able to find an appointment close enough to her Putnam home.

The Quinebaug Valley Senior Center said that Nelson is not alone. The center has been fielding calls from people who are frustrated about getting a vaccine appointment for weeks. They said that the calls keep on coming.

They have had great success in finding some people appointments, but they also have a long list of names of people who are still waiting.

According to the director of the center, there are multiple challenges. People are still having trouble accessing internet to sign up. There are also limited appointments across the state, but specifically in the northeast corner of the state.

There is no mass vaccination clinic in the NE corner. The closest mass vaccination site is in Uncasville at Mohegan Sun Casino. According to Yale New Haven Health, which operates the site, they do have appointments through mid-March.

But for some people living in the NE part of the state, transportation to Mohegan Sun and other sites across the state is a barrier.

"We do have a few people who are willing to be volunteers to drive people to appointments, but certainly not that far out of town," said Linda Lamoureux, director of the center.

According to the governor's team, more vaccine appointments should be opening up state-wide this week, as Connecticut continues to receive more doses. They say most people who are 65 and older should be able to get an appointment before the next group of people becomes eligible.

“We have got 95,000 first doses available coming into the state this week, which is a significant increase from last week," explained Josh Geballe, chief operating officer.

People are encouraged to continue looking for an appointment through independent providers and the state's vaccine hotline.

The senior center said people can also call them.

"We will do whatever we can to help you. If you live out of this area, you can call any senior center in the state," said Lamoureux.

With about 650,000 more people becoming eligible next week, Nelson is hoping something opens up for her soon.

“I don’t want to catch the virus," said Nelson. "I don’t want to catch it."

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