DENVER (KDVR) — Many more people in Colorado became eligible for the COVID vaccine on Friday. That has a lot of people trying to make appointments to get their shots.
As more people make appointments, the heartache for older Coloradans increases as they feel like they’ve been left behind.
Many people breathed a sigh of relief when Colorado opened COVID vaccine eligibility to everyone 16 and older. But not everybody was happy.
“I was pretty cranky about it to tell you the truth,” said Westminster resident Fran Devine.
Devine is 62 and has underlying health issues. She signed up for the vaccine in early March and said she was diligent in signing up through several providers but has not been able to get an appointment.
“I was not a happy camper. I was not a good sport. I was thinking one of the few good things about getting older is I’m supposed to get ahead in line for the vaccine and it hasn’t been happening,” Devine said.
The state told her she might not get her vaccine until the end of May.
But on Friday, Centura Health, one of the places where she’d signed up, told the Problem Solvers, Centura is now working on scheduling her first dose.
“Everyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get at least their first dose by the end of May. Providers can prioritize individuals in higher risk populations who have been eligible in previous phases,” a spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said.
Bill Pickett of Centennial had been having problems too.
“It’s been a challenging, frustrating and confusing,” he said.
Pickett, who is 65, doesn’t have a computer and had been trying to fill out form after form on his cell phone. Entering all that data has been challenging to say the least.
“It can be especially (difficult) with older eyes. The print isn’t the biggest in the world,” Pickett said.
His persistence paid off as he was able to get an appointment at the Dicks Sporting Goods Park next Tuesday.
Pickett was concerned that he may not get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because of millions of doses that went to waste.
“Centura Health has received its allotment of Johnson & Johnson doses for all community clinics,” a Centura Health spokesperson said.
That means Bill should get his first vaccine in five days.
In the meantime, Fran continues to wait patiently for her first vaccine.
CDPHE says its vaccine hotline can help people find a vaccine provider near them 1-877-CO VAX CO (1-877-268-2926).
The state also has 6 community vaccine sites that will help more Coloradans get vaccinated.