Wednesday, February 24, 2021
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The Villages

Older Villagers feeling forgotten in fight for scarce vaccine doses

Maureen McGillicuddy of the Village of Piedmont, like everyone else, is trying to secure an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine. In a battlefield where redials and computer clicks make the difference, she is armed with a Jitterbug.

“I have been trying to book vaccines in Sumter, Lake and Marion. All sites are unavailable. I am not computer smart and I am very frustrated. Seniors here should be able to have an easier way to get vaccines,” she said.

Eighty-year-old Sandra O’Brien of the Village of Buttonwood, who lost her husband of 58 years in 2019, is desperate for an appointment for the vaccine.

“I now have a great-granddaughter, and I would really like to get to see her, but want the vaccine first. She is in New Hampshire. I know a lot of us are in the same situation, but it has been over a year since I have seen any family from the north,” she said.

Villager Steve Printz, left, receives the COVID-19 vaccine in December as Villager Peter Moeller, right, waits his turn.

Jacob and Lily Haggag of the Village of Winifred are growing frustrated and impatient. They contend that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ pledge to push seniors to the front of the line has not materialized. He was here in December to oversee the vaccination of five high-profile Villagers with ties to the GOP and the governor used the stage to pledge that seniors would not have to wait for the vaccine.

“My husband and I are in our eighties. We have been waiting to be vaccinated. Every county around us has been getting the vaccine, what happens to Sumter County? What is our governor doing? We registered, which was not an easy process, and then put on hold! Sixty-five and older? How about 75 and older? Have we been tossed aside?” asked Lily Haggag.

Kathy and Vern Griffin of the Village of Hillsborough also feel they have been let down.

“We are disappointed in our government that getting the vaccine is not happening for us. We are both in our 70s and have not been able to see our family in over a year,” Kathy Griffin said.

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