Virginia man shares ‘very, very confusing’ process with helping his mom book vaccine appointment

Sterling man shares confusion over booking vaccine appointments (WTOP's Valerie Bonk)

A Sterling, Virginia, man shared his experience with trying to make a COVID-19 vaccination appointment for his 84-year-old mother.

Pharmacy technicians prepare doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at a mass COVID-19 vaccination event on January 30, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. UCHealth, Colorado's largest healthcare provider, plans to vaccinate 10,000 seniors over 70 during the drive-up event this weekend.(Getty Images/Michael Ciaglo)
Nick Nylec told WTOP that scheduling an appointment for his mother was too complicated, and that something needs to change to help seniors navigate the process.

It all started with an online survey to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

“The website basically had a link to answer a bunch of survey questions, and then get you kind of in the queue,” Nylec said. “It was very, very confusing for her going through the website, you know, answering this multitude of questions.”

He was trying to help his mother, Del, get her vaccine, but she almost gave up. “When my mom hit these frustrations, her first response was, ‘I’m just gonna wait,’ until they bring it to her active adult community,'” he said. His mother lives in the Lansdowne Woods senior community.

But Nylec wouldn’t let her give up just yet.

The next email from the Loudoun County Health Department went to her junk email folder. But Nylec helped her find it and fill out another survey.

When she finally went in for her first shot on Tuesday, health officials said they didn’t have enough vaccine doses to make her second appointment.

Nylec said that finding someone to talk to on the phone is too difficult, and his mother still drives, so he said they might rely on her going back in person to figure it out since there are no appointments available online for her second shot.

“I’m hoping she’s gonna drive back over to the Dulles Town Center and actually, you know, grab someone and say, ‘I need some help,'” he said.

Nylec is in a high-risk health category because he has diabetes, so he is registering to get vaccinated next, but hopes that the process can be simplified so that all local seniors can get vaccinated first.

“I’m just hoping that Loudon County will figure out that there’s probably a more efficient way that they can streamline this process so it’s easier for everybody over the next year that we’re going to be dealing with this,” Nylec said.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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