AARP Arizona Sends Ducey Letter Asking Him To Prioritize Seniors In Vaccine Rollout

By Kathy Ritchie
Published: Friday, January 29, 2021 - 12:09pm

Many people who’ve tried to book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination through the Arizona Department of Health Services website have run into difficulties. And it’s leaving many older adults frustrated. Now one organization is pushing back. 

It started with an AARP tele town hall. Dana Kennedy, state director of AARP Arizona, was expecting questions about the shot.

"And instead, we just got flooded with people, you know, talking about how just desperate that they couldn't access, you know, an appointment, and how difficult that technology was," Kennedy said. 

So she sent Gov. Doug Ducey a letter asking him to make older adults a priority.

"The ones that are trying, they're just giving up … they're feeling hopeless," she said. 

She also asked Ducey to prioritize homebound seniors. Her letter said that of those receiving long-term care services through AHCCCS, Arizona’s version of Medicaid, 62% receive those services at home, whereas 27% receive them in a congregate setting.

"I just really believe that we are leaving our seniors behind in this vaccine process. And we're making it so hard for them to sign up to get an appointment, this clunky system, it's 2021. It's not 2001," Kennedy said. 

Kennedy also asked Ducey for the number and percentages of older Arizonans that have been vaccinated. She also would like a clear and easy-to-understand process for getting a vaccination. 

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