San Juan cancer survivor asks for help to get COVID-19 vaccine

News

Harlingen, Texas (KVEO)- As the demand for the COVID-19 vaccine raises, elderly San Juan woman asks for help to navigate the “terrible” process.

78-year-old Barbara Stephens told KVEO she has tried to receive the vaccine since it was announced but has not been able to get the correct guidance.

“This is terrible, this is absolutely terrible,” said Stephens. “People have had to wait in line in their car for hours to just get an armband to go back the next day and wait in line again to get the shot.”

As someone who has underlying conditions, she said that although she falls in the 1B category, which has priority to get vaccinated, she does not know where to go.

“I haven’t been told where to go,” she said. “I don’t know whether I need to sign up first.”

Stephens said local officials redirected her to websites that say “no vaccines are available.”

Dr. Ivan Melendez, Hidalgo County Health Authority agrees that the process is not as user-friendly as it could be.

“Whether you go by phone or whether you go by internet, the process…is not anywhere near as easy as user friendly as we would like it,” said Dr. Melendez.

He suggested for people to have patience and check the county’s website every day for vaccine availability.

Stephens said she doesn’t know how much longer she can wait, she said she has also reached out to the Texas Department of State Health Services in hopes of getting help here in the Rio Grande Valley.

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