Pennsylvanians frustrated by lack of availability, confusion with vaccine appointments

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennsylvania’s vaccine rollout is causing problems for many people desperate to get their shots.

The mission to get vaccinated is leaving a lot of people frustrated.

Paula Heiss is one of the people who has had a tough time finding an open appointment.

“It always tells me it’s full or I get in the queue and I wait and after a while, it kicks me out telling me that there are no more appointments available,” Heiss said.

Heiss is a cancer survivor and has lupus, so she really wants the vaccine for an extra layer of safety.

But the process has been so tough for her that she’s given up a few times now.

“I think it should be something as easy as just you know a drive-in thing that I could go to the farm show or whatever, a large parking area and just zip people through,” Heiss said.

Others have had better luck. Beth Darowish spent a lot of time getting her elderly father an appointment.

“It’s kind of like we won the lottery I think because we just lucked out,” Darowish said. “Every day I was just checking. It was about every hour or whenever I had a spare moment to go. It was a lot of clicking to try and get in there.”

She finally found him one through WellSpan, but thinks the whole system could be better organized.

“It was just really difficult and I kind of wish we could’ve signed up on one list and been sent to the pharmacies. Like if the state had collected a list,” Darowish said.

Ashley Frey also stepped up to help her elderly parents get in line. She went through Wellspan as well.

“Luckily I caught it right when appointments must have been listed and we were able to book it then,” Frey said.

But their appointments aren’t until April, which means a long wait.

“Just to be able to go to the grocery store again I think it’s really important that they need to get this vaccine. And April is a long time away,” Frey said.

When it comes to getting a shot in the arm, it really is just a shot in the dark.

“We’ve been patient for almost a year now and we have to continue to be patient,” Heiss said.

The PA Health Department said those having trouble getting appointments can call their hotline for help at 1-877-PA-HEALTH.

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