Struggles continue for people trying to get COVID vaccine

BOSTON — Sarah Gaucher’s struggle to get her parents, who are over 75, vaccinated is a perfect example of what happens when the amount of available vaccine appointments ends up less than expected.

“It was very easy to make my parents’ first appointment which was February 5 and then I could not make their second dose appointment because they had opened up to the 65 people which overloaded the system,” said Gaucher of Cherry Valley. “It took a whole week of calling trying to get appointments and they told my dad his appointment was today.

After showing up at Gillette, they got an email saying his appointment is March 15.

“But they don’t even have an appointment on March 15 so they told them only my dad could get vaccinated and my mom will have to come back so I asked for a supervisor and I demanded this be fixed,” she said.

“Let’s suppose we made a decision in Massachusetts to believe everything we’ve been told, we would be in really big trouble right now because none of those vendors are actually playing at the level that they said they’re going to play a few weeks ago, and that is exactly why we have been very cautious,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “Everybody eligible will be trying to secure an appointment with a relatively small number of available vaccines and while we know that creates anxiety. I just want to continue to urge all of us to recognize and understand that we need to be patient here. We have other governors who will continue to press the federal government to increase supply more quickly.

“Still, Gaucher says even when we get more vaccines, that won’t fix some communication errors.

Not only did she have trouble with her parents, but as a caregiver for two others.

“The people we talked to at the 211 said book the caregiver appointment at Fenway and said it was OK that they will take them at Gillette as long as there was an appointment and that was not true so I had to send the two caregivers away. They couldn’t get it,” said Gaucher.

Her caregiver appointments fell through, but she said she was able to get her parents vaccinated after going back and forth with supervisors.

With supply issues, there are concerns about how the state plans to take care of teachers starting next week. Those teachers will be competing with everyone else in Phases 1 and 2 who are trying to get their second shot as well as those who haven’t got their first yet.

If the production does not increase, Goucher’s story will be an even more common occurrence.

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