Growing frustration across Erie County over COVID-19 vaccine rollout, especially from the must vulnerable.
Health officials say contacting your primary care doctor about scheduling a vaccine will not get you vaccinated unless they are registered with the state as a vaccine provider.
One resident from North East is Lee Green. Green is 75 years old and has a heart condition, COPD, and diabetes, making him part of phase 1A for vaccines.
“Everybody says there’s plenty of shots, but then you look online and there are no shots. You get through all the process just to have them tell you ‘No, we’re not taking any appointments now’ and that’s very, very frustrating.” Green said.
Green says since December, he has been trying to schedule an appointment for a vaccine, reaching out to his primary care doctor and local hospitals. He has not heard anything back and he says the state website with vaccination sites hasn’t provided answers either.
“I clicked on every single blue dot in Erie County and there’s a ton of them, but nothing.” Green said.
Green’s granddaughter, Shannon Fitzpatrick, says there must be a better way for those must vulnerable to schedule a vaccination.
“Scheduling it out, if they don’t have one that’s for next week, they should probably schedule it out within a month so people don’t have to keep going online and keep checking every single day to make an appointment.” Fitzpatrick said.
One official from UPMC says there is some hope. They have created a program to help elderly in the community schedule vaccines as soon as they become available.
“UPMC piloted here in Erie our senior expansion for vaccinations for the community. Here in Erie, we’ve been able to vaccinate over 4,700 seniors that are 65 and older.” said Jason Chenault.
For a link to the UPMC form to possibly be scheduled for a vaccine, you can click here.