Pottawattamie County seniors frustrated with COVID vaccine registration

Two months into the vaccine rollout and frustrations are running high in parts of Iowa
Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 10:28 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Two months into the vaccine rollout and frustrations are running high in parts of Iowa, as seniors struggle to get signed-up for their shots.

“I’m so tired. I’m so frustrated,” said 78-year-old Kathy Lang of Council Bluffs. “This needs to get done,” she said, tearing up.

Lang is doing exactly what seniors across Iowa have been told; go online and get registered for the vaccine with a participating pharmacy.

“I started it on it in the morning and worked and worked at the HyVee site and the Walgreens site,” said Lang, noting at one point she thought she was registered. “Then went back to check and it and it made me do it again, and then it asked me some more questions and I answered them, and it flipped right back to the beginning and said I had to start over.”

Lang tried for hours to get signed up; the tears, she said are mostly out of frustration and fear. “Probably the fact that I was sitting at the computer for probably 12 hours yesterday, and probably 4 hours today,” she said. “And exhaustion, and frustration and concern that we wouldn’t get the vaccination.”

Her biggest concern is her husband Jack. “Jack is 80 and he needs it more than I do, and he’s had a lot of medical problems so he needs it, and I couldn’t get him on at all,” said Lang, noting she kept trying. “Every time he wanted me to quit because he knew I was frustrated - I can’t quit because I know I need to get it done.”

When asked what her next steps are, Lang said. “I guess to keep trying that’s all I can do,” noting she’s hoping more help is on the way. “We need it to be easier,” she said. “I don’t see any reason it can’t be easier.”

And, there may be some hope. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds today announced the state’s working to create a one-stop online shop where seniors can get vaccinated, adding:

“Of course not everyone has access to a computer or internet service, or choose to use them and to assist Iowans age 65 and older, we’re partnering with the Area Agency on Aging to provide assistance,” said Governor Reynolds. “They’ll be answering questions, assisting with scheduling, coordinating transportation for older Iowans who are homebound, and we’re going to provide more information on how to access this help later this week.”

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