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Vaccinate NEPA: Lack of vaccines at small pharmacies impacts older residents

Vaccinate NEPA

SHAVERTOWN, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The struggle and frustration that comes with getting the vaccine continues to grow.

Pennsylvania announced last week it’s shifting its COVID-19 vaccine distribution to larger providers to speed up the process– and it may change the way some people secure appointments. The elderly are largely affected by the state’s decision to cut off certain small pharmacies from vaccine supply.

Earlier Monday, Eyewitness News reporter Julie Dunphy helped walk two residents through the process. Dunphy heard a local pharmacy had planned to come out to Trucksville Manor to give vaccines to those who needed one.

But beginning this week, smaller pharmacies and medical centers will not be getting first-dose COVID vaccines. The residents were disappointed to hear how close they were to getting the shot, but she was able to guide them to an appointment.

“Just trying to get on the list is awful,” Margeret Hoover said.

“They want everyone to get the shot but they aren’t making it easy to get. You know if you can’t go out and drive then you’re basically stuck,” Connie Lloyd said.

When Eyewitness News met Hoover and Lloyd Monday morning, they had no luck signing up to receive a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

“I called last week the general hospital and they never called me back. See I don’t have a computer so I don’t know. You think they would call me back and let me know, but they didn’t,” Hoover said.

The women are frustrated they can’t get the shot at a local pharmacy.

“I think everyone goes to Fino’s in Dallas, so you know give them some,” Lloyd said.

“We go to Fino’s and I couldn’t understand why they never got it,” Hoover said.

Pennsylvania announced last week they are shifting its COVID-19 vaccine distribution to larger providers to speed up the process, leaving small town pharmacies out to dry.

The Medicine Shoppe in Dallas hasn’t received new shipment of the vaccine in a few weeks.

“And it’s more unfortunate for people who can’t get out. We had many people we go to their homes and administer vaccine,” The Medicine Shoppe owner Gary Karwaski said.

As the women were frustrated and ready to give up, Dunphy was able to sit down with them and point them in the right direction according to the recent changes.

She provided them with the numbers to both Geisinger and Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.

Lloyd and Hoover called and heard back from Geisinger in the same day. They will get their first shot next week.

If you are in the Wilkes-Barre area looking to get on a vaccine list, call Geisinger at 570-284-3657 or Wilkes-Barre General at 570-552-1795.

Be sure to leave your name, phone number, and email, and they will reach out to you.

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