Vaccine distribution for those 70+ causing confusion for some

Frustrations with figuring out how to get the COVID-19 vaccine

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Some people are experiencing confusion when it comes to the scheduling of vaccinations for people who are 70 years old and older.

Patti Martinelli, who lives part-time in Myrtle Beach, is 72 years old and is looking forward to getting the vaccine.

“It gives us a little bit more mental freedom,” she said. “You feel a little bit safer.”

Getting the vaccine could potentially mean Martinelli will be able to visit her mom who she hasn’t seen in nearly a year.

“My mom’s in a nursing home,” she said. “I’m going to cry. She’s 103 – she’ll be 103, she’s 102 – and I haven’t seen her since March 13.”

When she heard people her age would be able to get the vaccine, she was excited, so she called the Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Care Line number that the agency put out to receive help with scheduling. But it wasn’t as smooth a process as she had hoped.

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“I left two messages,” she said. “I was on the phone for an hour on hold that they said would be 20 minutes. Then I tried pushing a different button on my husband’s cell phone I called when I was waiting. And they said it’s going to be an hour, and I still have not received a phone call.”

Martinelli is likely not the only one experiencing frustration. Those looking for help in making an appointment should wait until Wednesday to call the Care Line.

DHEC officials said you should call their line in order to set up an appointment somewhere, but patience is key.

Also, people who live part-time in South Carolina are still eligible to receive the vaccine as long as they’re 70 or older. People will not have to provide proof of residency in order to get the vaccine.

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