Feb 1, 2021 - Health

Senior citizen COVID-19 vaccination woes create more heroes we shouldn't need

Illustration of a syringe suspended and held up by red tape. 

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Bloomberg has a big feature that includes the story of Constance Else, who has been posting flyers across her New Jersey town offering to help older Americans who are struggling to book vaccination appointments online.

The big picture: It's part of an all-too-familiar American story of individuals having to do heroic work to make up for a systemic shortfall, akin to 7-year-olds setting up lemonade stands to help pay medical bills or employees banding together to donate sick time to a seriously ill colleague.

  • A huge chunk of GoFundMe is this phenomenon writ large, as people turn to crowdsourcing to pay medical bills for those who lack sufficient insurance coverage.

My thought bubble: While Else is rightly being praised, it should never have come to this.

And the problem, as the Bloomberg report details, is that there are more seniors struggling to get appointments than there have been heroes like Else to help them.

Be smart: Other countries aren’t leaving individual citizens to fend for themselves.

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