The absurd ways that desperate seniors get vaccinated

“I had a miracle.”

This is how William Slay, a 92-year-old man in Cypress, Texas outside of Houston, describes his struggle to get a coronavirus vaccine, a quest that finally paid off last Tuesday.

This involved weeks of phone calls and emails to the governor’s office, his county health department, hospitals and pharmacies and doctors’ offices.

As he recalled, “In each case, the response you received from a living person was, ‘We don’t have a vaccine and we don’t know when we will receive our next shipment.’ And I was like, “Can you put my name on a waiting list?” And they would say, “We don’t have a waiting list,” and I would say, “How will I know when it’s available? And they were like, ‘Well, you’ll just have to keep checking.’ “

Ultimately, Slay got out of this nightmarish and frustrating loop thanks to a combination of luck, ingenuity, and an outsider’s generosity. Her story is just one example of how the vaccine remains surprisingly unavailable to some of America’s most vulnerable, and how often older people need someone younger – and more tech-literate. – to help them get vaccinated.

In Slay’s case, he published an article about his predicament on NextDoor, the hyperlocal social networking service for neighborhoods founded in 2008.

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