CLEVELAND — We’ve heard from so many of you about COVID vaccine confusion. How do I get it? Who has it? When is it my turn? Here are the top three things you can do to get your vaccine shot.
“We don’t have enough information,” said Norman Maxwell, 74, from Cleveland. He told us he experienced an interesting COVID situation at the VA Hospital in Cleveland recently. “I didn’t see any signs that said we’re giving out shots,” he told us, but he said he did see a line of people waiting for their vaccines.
He said a VA employee told him to contact his doctor, and then, it would be 3 weeks until he got the shot. However, that’s not what the vets in line said to him. “One told me specifically, he said, ‘I just got my shot. I said, ‘Well, when did you make the appointment?’ He said, ‘Well, I just came in today and I got it.’”
“I just kept running into brick walls,” said Linda Armstead, 64, from Shaker Heights. She told us she’s tried to get on vaccine lists through many outlets including some retail locations. “Their sites said they didn’t have any vaccines at the time, and they weren’t administering any,” Armstead said.
We caught up with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH) while it was delivering shots during a drive-through operation at the county fairgrounds. “We understand it’s frustrating for people and it’s a slow process to begin with,” said Communications Officer Kevin Brennan while standing just feet away from people getting their vaccines.
He had these 3 tips for you. One, use your county’s vaccine website. “And that will give you information on, first of all, if you are eligible. And if you are eligible, you can sign up to be notified when we have clinics like the one we are having today,” he said.
We checked the CCBH’s site, put in an address, and it mapped out various locations to contact for vaccines. We also saw a chart that spells out which medical conditions that could make you eligible to get the shot sooner than others.
Two, CCBH has a partnership with the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging. “So, if you contact that agency, they will connect you with an operator who will assist you with the registration process,” said Brennan.
Three, call 2-1-1 for assistance. “The community has been very responsive trying to help seniors navigate the landscape,” Brennan told us.
And here’s a bonus tip: contact your physician. “Some primary doctors are providing vaccine based on their affiliation with a particular health system,” Brennan said.
The one sticking point for every outlet right now is supply of the vaccine. “We’re ready to do more and I think other providers are as well, but the vaccine is just not available,” said Brennan.
John Desmarteau from the Middleburg Heights Fire Department was in line while we were there. “I have that peace of mind that I’m better protected against COVID,” he told us while sitting in his car.
However, for others who are waiting like Armstead who has Multiple Sclerosis, who said she should be getting her shot, and who wanted you to know her experience.
“The reason I contacted (News 5) is to make people aware of what is going on out here in the real world,” said Armstead.