Seniors put on waiting list for COVID-19 vaccine

Jefferson Parish pharmacies had a busy Monday morning as many people waited in line to hopefully receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Seniors put on waiting list for COVID-19 vaccine

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Some Jefferson Parish pharmacies had a busy Monday morning as many people waited in line to hopefully receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The response from the community was overwhelming, but many will have to wait a little longer before getting the drug.

The announcement of the COVID-19 vaccine for senior citizens over the age of 70 sparked a mad dash to area pharmacies, only to find out the vaccine wasn’t being administered.

“I wasn’t expecting it for weeks,” said Bruce Donnelly, 74, who signed up to be on a wait list for the vaccine.

“I have some health issues, and I haven’t been out of the house for nine or 10 months.”

He wasn’t the only one who were waitlisted.

Olga Wegmann said she was confused with the announcement because it implied the pharmacies were administering the vaccine, when they weren’t.

“So he took our name and phone number and he’s going to call us when it comes in to make the appointment,” she said. “He said, ‘Well you’re lucky you’re one of the early ones,’ so we’re glad we came in.”

Eric Laborde, manager at A-1 Discount Pharmacy in Metairie, La., is one of the pharmacies that will be administering the vaccine to the next group of people.

“We’ve been really busy ever since the internet published the list of pharmacies, the phone has been ringing off the hook,” said Laborde.

He said the vaccine is on the way, but many people have already showed up to his pharmacy ready to receive the vaccine.

“Basically, what we’re doing is trying to organize because it’s important to go ahead and do an appointment-based model. Can’t have people just coming in like they do for the flu vaccine because once you open it, it’s only good for six hours, so we’re trying to organize ourselves and get it such that maybe doing like 10 people at a time.”

It was the same story at NOLA Discount off Veterans Boulevard. Seniors waited in line to get their names on the list for a COVID-19 vaccine.

“She took my name and she said she’d put it on the list, but it was a very long list and they’re only getting 50 vaccines at a time,” said Terry Jones, another senior who is hoping to get his vaccine.

“So who knows how long that might be, but it’s better than not being on the list, you know?”

The owner of NOLA Discount Pharmacy-- who did not want to go on camera-- said they received 50 vaccines, but by 11:30 a.m. Monday morning, there was more than 500 names on the wait list. It is unknown when more vaccines will be distributed to meet the need.

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