Many seniors having trouble getting to COVID-19 vaccine sites

VIDEO: Many seniors who don’t have transportation or can’t get out of the house are having trouble getting to COVID-19 vaccine sites.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Nearly 35% of the seniors in Florida have received at least the first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Many others are still having problems, particularly those seniors who don’t have transportation or can’t get out of the house.

Joe Stephens, 72, is one of those who has yet to receive his first shot. He hopes it will happen next month at his doctor’s appointment, although he’s aware it’s highly unlikely his doctor’s office will have vaccines then.

“My doctor’s appointment is in March, so I was going to hope he has the vaccine (by then),” Stephens said. “Now I was over at the Winn-Dixie and that’s where I was working part-time, and they told me they don’t have it yet.”

Stephens isn’t worried right now. He said he will eventually be able to get the shot, and he believes others are in more need of it right now.

But the long lines at vaccination centers have proven to be a problem for some seniors.

One woman wrote News4Jax, saying she can’t get to any vaccine site and has no way of paying for transportation to get her there. She asked if we could help.

News4Jax checked various agencies and found in Duval County, if you are over 65 and have ID, you can take a JTA bus for free to the vaccine location at the Regency Square Mall.

For information on how to get a ride to a vaccine location, click here.

JTA hopes to be able to offer the same free service to everyone, no matter what your age, once the vaccine becomes available to the general public.

There is also the question of seniors who can’t leave the house, those who are homebound.

News4Jax has been asking what is being done for them. Right now, the answer is not good.

Earlier this month, a local not-for-profit group called Aging True helped some homebound seniors in Duval and Clay counties get vaccines. Now that the state has taken over vaccine distribution in Jacksonville, that service for vaccine help is no longer available.

This week, DeSantis said the state is working on a program to help those who are homebound. Details have not been released yet.

About the Author:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.