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No bathrooms. No seating. Endless lines. Struggling seniors face vaccine misery

 

The system set up by Los Angeles County seems, in many ways, to be a young person's game: It can take social media skills, technology savvy, reliable transportation and even physical stamina to obtain one of the coveted shots. That leaves some of the county’s most vulnerable residents at a serious disadvantage.

 

she has been told she will need to present a QR code upon arrival, something that requires a cellphone or a least a decent printer...Donna Spratt, an 82-year-old Cerritos resident waiting in the vaccine line at East L.A.'s Lincoln Park, said she couldn't figure out how to use the online system at all...The five county-run mass vaccination sites are drive-through only, which means seniors who cannot drive have to rely on a friend or family member to access the sites...“I inched along for two hours. My appointment was long past, and the call of nature forced me to give up. It has been impossible to get another appointment.”

 

At the Lincoln Park and Crenshaw Christian Center clinics, it is not uncommon to see streams of cars circling around hunting for spaces. Some seniors said they had to park several blocks away and walk...underwent several back surgeries in the last year, and he was using a rolling walker to get through the line at Lincoln Park

 

https://news.yahoo.com/no-bathrooms-no-seating-endless-130050618.html

 

Might I suggest, again, that mass vaccination sites don't work for the vulnerable populations that the vaccines are most needing to reach. If you are old, or have heart problems, or have diabetes, or have lung problems, or some combination thereof...you are the least likely people to be capable of walking long distances then standing/waiting in line for hours.

 

And if you're poor and don't have access to adequate health services to start with, you're among the people least likely to own a car and be able to drive 20 miles to get to a drive-through vaccination site.

 

 

Back on election day in November, I wrote about my adventures in voting as I (with my own mobility problems) had to shepherd two people in wheelchairs through the line.

 

When my own name comes finally comes up for getting the vaccine, at best I'll be doing the same thing again. At worst, they'll refuse to have all three of us in at the same time and I'll be forced to go up there and wait in line for hours up to three different times as each of us gets our shot.

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2 hours ago, archer said:

No bathrooms. No seating. Endless lines. Struggling seniors face vaccine misery

 

The system set up by Los Angeles County seems, in many ways, to be a young person's game: It can take social media skills, technology savvy, reliable transportation and even physical stamina to obtain one of the coveted shots. That leaves some of the county’s most vulnerable residents at a serious disadvantage.

 

she has been told she will need to present a QR code upon arrival, something that requires a cellphone or a least a decent printer...Donna Spratt, an 82-year-old Cerritos resident waiting in the vaccine line at East L.A.'s Lincoln Park, said she couldn't figure out how to use the online system at all...The five county-run mass vaccination sites are drive-through only, which means seniors who cannot drive have to rely on a friend or family member to access the sites...“I inched along for two hours. My appointment was long past, and the call of nature forced me to give up. It has been impossible to get another appointment.”

 

At the Lincoln Park and Crenshaw Christian Center clinics, it is not uncommon to see streams of cars circling around hunting for spaces. Some seniors said they had to park several blocks away and walk...underwent several back surgeries in the last year, and he was using a rolling walker to get through the line at Lincoln Park

 

https://news.yahoo.com/no-bathrooms-no-seating-endless-130050618.html

 

Might I suggest, again, that mass vaccination sites don't work for the vulnerable populations that the vaccines are most needing to reach. If you are old, or have heart problems, or have diabetes, or have lung problems, or some combination thereof...you are the least likely people to be capable of walking long distances then standing/waiting in line for hours.

 

And if you're poor and don't have access to adequate health services to start with, you're among the people least likely to own a car and be able to drive 20 miles to get to a drive-through vaccination site.

 

 

Back on election day in November, I wrote about my adventures in voting as I (with my own mobility problems) had to shepherd two people in wheelchairs through the line.

 

When my own name comes finally comes up for getting the vaccine, at best I'll be doing the same thing again. At worst, they'll refuse to have all three of us in at the same time and I'll be forced to go up there and wait in line for hours up to three different times as each of us gets our shot.

 

I guess it's time for me to rant some more.

 

OK, so I've been signed up on the vaccination list since some time early in the month and was told basically, "Don't call us, we'll call you and eventually schedule something". And that was several weeks after first contacting them to tell them I want on the list ASAP.

 

So 6:18 p.m. tonight I get a text that I'm slotted in for 11 a.m. tomorrow morning. So less than 17 hours notice and after business hours so I would have had difficulty canceling any other appointments for tomorrow that I might have had.

 

Oh, no, but that's not inconvenient enough.

 

If I've gotten the flu vaccine in the last two weeks, they told me in that same notification that I can't get the COVID vaccine tomorrow morning. This is the first freaking time they've mentioned anything like that. Fortunately my flu shot was on January 13th so I barely dodged a bullet there.

 

But that's not enough, oh no.

 

I'm supposed to bring my freaking vaccination record with me.

 

I'm not sure if I even needed a vaccination record in order to get into college but if I did, the last time I saw my actual record was decades ago. If I didn't need it on that occasion, the last time anyone saw it was at the beginning of 10th grade.

 

If my parents ever kept it, I have no idea where it would have been kept. And if it still existed in their stuff, it would be in a different state.

 

If my parents sent it to my grandparents when I stayed with them for a while during college, it was likely thrown out or stolen like the rest of my stuff after my grandfather died and my grandmother asked people to help themselves or toss anything that looked like it didn't belong to her (and to please not ask her questions about specific items).

 

 

What the hell is with people who are running these kinds of programs? They've literally had months, in advance, to warn people about paperwork they'd like to look at and things that someone should avoid if they want to get vaccinated. But they can't even type in those sentences onto their website to tell people. They wait until it's literally too late to do anything, then notify them about what's needed.

 

 

For the record, the appointment is at a conference center 18 miles away. That's at least three city borders away (the conference center is in the fourth city over). 

 

There's no public transportation between here and the next city, much less going beyond that. So if I didn't have access to a car, I'd be thoroughly screwed.

 

 

I would hope that the vaccinations are inside since it's been bitter cold here and there's more likely to be bathrooms if we get to go inside. If not, screwed again.

 

Of course if I get COVID because I'm indoor with hundreds of other people, screwed again.

 

But if my wife gets COVID because they put her indoors with hundreds of other people, she'll be dead for the first time.

 

 

I absolutely would not attempt to go to this freak show the county has set up except that my wife is going stir-crazy after more than a year being cooped up in the house. She was under doctor's orders to not attempt to go out of the house because she couldn't breathe even before the pandemic hit. But after the pandemic hit, it went from "this isn't a good idea, this could put you into the emergency room for a week" to "this will put you in the funeral home".

 

So she's months further along the line of being stir crazy than anyone else has been.

 

< /rant >

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17 minutes ago, Pariah said:

I'm sorry to hear about this, archer. I hope you and your wife are able to work something out.

 

I'll be there in line with my two people in wheelchairs, whether we're indoors or not. That's not optional, unfortunately.

 

I might take an empty jar and keep it in the car as an emergency pee station for me in case we're outside with no bathroom facilities.

 

News stories say that some elderly people are wearing adult diapers to cope with being in line without bathroom facilities. I think I got free samples somewhere for my wife and I. If nothing else, it's probably warmer than regular underwear.

 

I can't begin to stress how much I would not want to use adult diapers for their intended purpose. (I can't really find an appropriate emoji to finish off that sentence.)

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The Novavax vaccine is still in clinical trials in the US.

 

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/536377-novavax-vaccine-almost-90-percent-effective-in-trial-but-not-against-south

 

In earlier UK clinical trials, it was shown to be 90% effective.

 

But when tested against the South African mutation of COVID, the effectiveness dropped to 60%.

 

And for patients who have HIV, the effectiveness dropped to 49.4%.

 

I don't see how the Novavax could ever be put on the market with it's current rate of effectiveness. The government might try it anyway as a stopgap until the more effective vaccines are more widely available. But damn, that would be a public relations disaster figuring out wo would get the good vaccines and who would get the "garbage" vaccines. Then watching all the people die who got the garbage vaccine and the victims' families looking for people to blame.

 

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, on the other hand, are effective against the original Chinese strain, the original European variant that spread to the eastern US, the UK mutation, plus are effective against the South African strain...but much less effective than against the South African strain than against other strains.

 

We won't get word about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until next week.

 

This is becoming worrisome. The mutations which have been found have all increased transmissibility of the virus, the deadliness of the virus, or both. And the newest strain shows to be resistant to the vaccines we've spent a year developing to fight it.

 

None of the known mutations seem to be making the virus less of a threat. (A successful virus doesn't kill the host because that kills the only thing which is keeping the virus alive. The best mutation from the virus's point of view would be to increase the rate of transmission but decrease how deadly it is.)

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Back from getting my first dose of the Moderna vaccine. Took about three hours including travel time.

 

It was set up in a convention center and was as well arranged as could be expected, given the shape of the building.

 

The only place where they weren't able to keep social distancing was getting off the elevator from the parking garage to walk to the end of the line. The building just wasn't designed to have both people getting off the elevator and people in the hall at the same time and everyone socially distant.

 

Once inside, they moved us to a special line for people in wheelchairs or using walkers and let us stay together. So we bypassed some amount of time standing in line but it was difficult to tell just how much.

 

Most of the people working the site seemed to be firemen and police.  There were a number of workers without insignia and I saw two people from FEMA.

 

Only one of us managed to find her vaccination records. Turns out the people working the site had no idea that the texts were asking people to bring their vaccination records and there was no place in their computers to have entered that information if they'd been interested in seeing it.

 

I'm exhausted and slightly migrainy so I'm off to take a nap.

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Johnson & Johnson vaccine results are in.

 

66 percent effective, but only 57% effective against South Africa variant.

 

"The company emphasized that its vaccine is 85 percent effective in preventing severe disease and was 100 percent effective in preventing hospitalization or death starting 28 days after vaccination. That is a crucial point, meaning that even if the vaccine is somewhat less effective in preventing people from getting sick at all, it still appears to protect well against people having to go to the hospital or dying."

 

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/536441-johnson-johnson-vaccine-66-percent-effective-drops-against-south-africa

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22 hours ago, archer said:

So 6:18 p.m. tonight I get a text that I'm slotted in for 11 a.m. tomorrow morning. So less than 17 hours notice and after business hours so I would have had difficulty canceling any other appointments for tomorrow that I might have had.

You got more notice than my mom did. She read her email at the end of the day Wednesday and found out that she'd been notified (not by text or call as she'd expected, but by email) at 11 something a.m. that the vaccine was available that day at the pharmacy she'd registered with, and she should contact them immediately to make an appointment before they closed. Oh, and when she called to see if they might also be inoculating people Thursday the answer was not only no, but she discovered that the pharmacy had helpfully removed her name from the waiting list since they hadn't heard back from her about making an appointment the previous day and assumed she'd gone elsewhere.

 

I am more than mildly peeved now, and if my mother should contract Covid-19 in the next month and die from it (she's almost 82, has heart problems, and has developed pneumonia in the hospital previously) there are some pharmacy techs who better pray to every god they know of that it kills me too, and fast.

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3 hours ago, Matt the Bruins said:

You got more notice than my mom did. She read her email at the end of the day Wednesday and found out that she'd been notified (not by text or call as she'd expected, but by email) at 11 something a.m. that the vaccine was available that day at the pharmacy she'd registered with, and she should contact them immediately to make an appointment before they closed. Oh, and when she called to see if they might also be inoculating people Thursday the answer was not only no, but she discovered that the pharmacy had helpfully removed her name from the waiting list since they hadn't heard back from her about making an appointment the previous day and assumed she'd gone elsewhere.

 

I am more than mildly peeved now, and if my mother should contract Covid-19 in the next month and die from it (she's almost 82, has heart problems, and has developed pneumonia in the hospital previously) there are some pharmacy techs who better pray to every god they know of that it kills me too, and fast.

 

It was just a fluke that I happened to be sitting right beside my phone when the text came it. And that I bothered to pick up my phone and look at it.

 

I don't carry my phone on me and typically look at it less than once per day. Same with email.

 

If I hadn't happened to be right beside my phone as the text came in, I probably would have next looked at my phone around 7 hours after my appointment time.

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8 hours ago, Pattern Ghost said:

Since it's a one and done, it might be useful as a stop gap measure to mitigate damage done by the virus, but it's not really helping in the long run. I wonder if it might not be better to have Johnson and Johnson gear up to produce one of the more effective vaccines instead of this.

 

I'm worried about all the knuckleheads who might get the J&J vaccine, get non-symptomatic COVID, then spread it far and wide due to refusing to wear a mask "because I got vaccinated!"

 

The problem with J&J producing someone else's vaccine is that J&J wouldn't be particularly willing since almost all of the money involved would go to whoever owns the vaccine, not the company that runs the factory. And it ties up the J&J factory so that it can't be used to produce stuff they'd actually make money on.

 

Moderna and Pfizer neither would want to split the money with J&J since they're making full rate doing what they're already doing.

 

I mean, it could have been done if the government had forced the issue nine months ago to tell whichever companies that didn't bring a drug to market first that they'd be forced to produce drugs for a competitor. But at this point, all the companies involved would drag their feet to the point that it wouldn't speed up vaccine production.

 

Supposedly, we're going to be on pace to hit 75% saturation by late summer/early fall. It wouldn't take much foot-dragging, lawsuits, or lobbying by to companies involved so that even if the loser were to be forced to produce someone else's vaccine that it wouldn't significantly speed up that target date.

 

One of the crappy realities of modern life.

 

Now if it were a life and death war effort against the Axis powers and the war was unlikely to be over for years if ever, twisting the arms of companies becomes a lot easier.

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4 hours ago, archer said:

The problem with J&J producing someone else's vaccine is that J&J wouldn't be particularly willing since almost all of the money involved would go to whoever owns the vaccine, not the company that runs the factory. And it ties up the J&J factory so that it can't be used to produce stuff they'd actually make money on.

 

There's already been talks of doing this in general terms, not specifically J&J, invoking the Defense Production Act:

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/28/biden-will-invoke-defense-production-act-to-boost-covid-vaccine-production-advisor-says.html

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Bad news...the US' 7 day average of daily deaths hit a new high on the 26th.  

BUT, it's actually slightly dropped in the last few days...and Wed/Thurs/Fri have had the highest daily totals.  So that's *maybe* an indication it's going to start coming down, but it's too early.

 

GOOD news...we're now about 3 weeks into a steady decline in the new-case 7 day average.  The worst was Jan 11th;  254K.  Now, it's down to 160K, so down 1/3.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, tkdguy said:

 

I couldn't read the story, since the site wants me to take down my ad blocker. Anything else besides the obvious here?

 

Nothing major.  She claims a childhood trauma, but one has to question the accuracy of that.  Story says she's of the "masks are pointless" school, so nothing to see, no. 

 

Nope, probably not gonna end well.

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