Greenwood, Louisiana (KTBS) — As of Monday, Feb. 8, people over the age of 65 will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine. But some of the people who qualified in the first phase of the vaccine rollout are still waiting because they can’t get to a vaccination site.
“I’m 82 years old. I don’t know what else to do,” said Connie Lawrence.
The native New Yorker has lived in the home she built in Greenwood since 1992, even widening the doors to accommodate her wheelchair. Her son lives with her, and her daughter is next door but they can’t afford a wheelchair accessible vehicle.
“They start at $40,000 and I’m not going to lay out $40,000,” said Lawrence. “I don’t have it anyway.”
Instead, Lawrence uses Homedica Medical House Calls, based out of Baton Rouge. She has nothing but praise for the program, which allows her to get personal visits from a nurse when she needs them. But Homedica hasn’t been able to get the COVID-19 vaccine, even though Lawrence thinks they would be the ideal program.
“We’re elderly, we’re over 70, and we’re all shut-ins so we have underlying conditions,” said Lawrence. “This is a valuable program and I couldn’t live without it. I want to continue to live.”
Connie also uses Ballentine Ambulance for transportation, but was told they can’t tie up their drivers waiting in line to get the vaccine. Connie has rented a wheelchair accessible van for a retinologist appointment next week but the rental costs $100 per day, and she says it’s on a day when they’re not offering vaccines.
As of Thursday night, neither Homedica nor Ballentine had responded to KTBS 3’s request for comment. But Lawrence doesn’t blame them, and hopes the problem can be solved by clearing up the red tape. Lawrence has contacted the offices of several lawmakers at the state and local level, including Sen. Bill Cassidy, who is a doctor. She’s encouraging others in her situation to reach out as well.
Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.