Seniors struggle to get COVID-19 vaccine

Local

CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Pamela Madej, of Schenectady, is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. But she, like so many other seniors, are having a tough time just making an appointment.

“It’s kind of nightmare to negotiate,” said Pamela.

The retired nurse practitioner volunteers at a care facility for terminally ill patients. She wants to get the shot as soon as possible, but she’s not getting very far.

“I have also called or looked up some places that offer it, i.e., Ellis and Price Chopper but all you get is ‘not available.'”

Pamela is computer and online savvy, but she says many of her peers are not. There are also many stories of major challenges with New York’s vaccination hotline.

“I had a senior call and just cry because she had stayed up all night trying that number and was not able to get through,” says Diane Conroy-LaCivita, the Executive Director at Colonie Senior Service Centers.

The organization oversees three residential locations and provides support to the greater senior community.

“I would ask if that someone has an advocate to reach out to that advocate. Whether it be an organization such as Colonie Senior Service Centers or a neighbor or a family member to assist them in securing that appointment.”

Conroy-LaCivita says she is currently working on a push to make the vaccine available where seniors live.

“Where seniors congregate or live together and an organization like ours or governmental entities can help set those appointments up, get the paperwork that needs to be completed, and I think that would be more proactive.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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