WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — At 95, Lucille Weisbein has just a few stories to tell. “There was a terrible depression when I was growing up,” she said. “I married very young. I was 17 and my husband was 19 and a few days later he went away in the Air Force.”
Weisbein also vividly remembers the poliovirus, the toll it took on families in the 1950s and the distribution of the vaccine. “It was done in a very orderly fashion,” she said.
Today, more than half a century later, Weisbein is waiting for an email from the state health department to find out when she can get a COVID-19 vaccine.
“I do think the way they’re handling the vaccines is not, it’s not in an orderly fashion,” she said. “It’s very disappointing because I thought that someone my age would be some of the first people that they would call.”
Contact 5 contacted the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County to ask about the frustration some seniors say they’re experiencing in trying to get an appointment to get vaccinated, including the use of an email address and a phone number that’s closed.
A spokesperson at the department told Contact 5 that Director, Dr. Alina Alonso, was not available for an interview or to answer our questions.
In an email to Contact 5, the spokesperson said a new web-based portal for scheduling vaccine appointments “is in the final stages of testing” and that they are currently vaccinating 500 people per day as well as making plans to increase the number in the very near future.
In the meantime, Weisbein just waits. “I would think that now that we have the vaccine, they would have planned properly how to administer it to the population and I don’t think they did.”
The Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County said appointments should only be requested by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.