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Older adults struggle to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments

Wilson County vaccination
Posted at 4:35 PM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 22:03:10-05

LEBANON, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Wilson County woman called her health department nearly 100 times on Wednesday, and was unable to get a vaccine appointment scheduled for her husband.

Kelly King has been doing everything she can to get her husband, Larry Stroud, a vaccine appointment. "I can’t stand the idea of bringing covid home to him and him dying because I gave him something," King said.

Since the pandemic started, Larry's health has declined. He's been unable to go to physical therapy for Parkinson's due to the pandemic. King said," We honestly do not mind waiting in line, we just want to know where the line is!”

Sign-up sheets online have filled up fast in most counties, and there's only one phone line for people to call in Wilson County."I’ve called the health department 95 time today," King said.

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto is asking people to be patient. Hutto said, "We have a lot of things going in the right direction, it’s like eating an elephant, you just got to do it one bite at a time."

He said they're ready to open-up more vaccination centers when the Tennessee Department of Health allows them to do that. "They’re keeping it close to the vest to make sure they do a good job, and a precise job, and I think as we get better, we will branch out,"Hutto said.

He said the state is accepting medical and non-medical volunteers to help out, and they're also discussing opening a hot-line. "It’s a lot different than handing out a loaf of bread on the street corner."

On the bright side, once people get an appointment, the drive-thru vaccine clinic is a well-oiled machine. At the College Hills Church of Christ and they confirmed they still have vaccines available, but Kelly said she's not waiting any longer. She's going to take her husband to another county to get the vaccine. King said, “They just frustrate the daylights out of us.”