TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Local COVID-19 vaccine clinics are completely booked and can no longer accept new patients.
That comes after the state of Indiana expanded immunizations to people 70 years of age and older.
Larry Marquess, 72, of West Lafayette, was fed up with holding on the phone for hours with Indiana 211 to schedule his COVID-19 vaccination.
"I sat for two and three-quarter hours to be told I had to go to Rockville and I couldn't get the vaccine until Feb. 10," he says.
Quentin Robinson, 71, of Lafayette, waited for hours to register his wife and himself on the state's website.
"The disturbing part of the whole process was that a couple can't sign up together at the same time, so I had to go through the process twice," he says.
Robinson wasn't able to schedule his immunization until Feb. 5.
"I wish I could have gotten in a little sooner but I'll take what I can get ... if the local folks had some help, I think it would be beneficial," he says.
Tippecanoe County Health Department Administrator Khala Hochstedler says clinics can only schedule vaccinations as late as mid-February. That's based on guidance from the state on how much of the vaccine is available.
"I understand your frustration but you're gonna have to work with us," she says. "We will get you vaccinated but we can only do so much, the state department of health can only do so much, the federal government can only do so much. It depends truly on how much vaccine can be produced at this point."
State Rep. Chris Campbell (D-West Lafayette) says she's heard complaints about long wait times on 211 and the state website and is looking into the issue.
"I left a couple messages at the governor's office and called our local health department, and I also have physicians that have information," she says. "I'm just trying to keep up and stay ahead of the questions as they come in and trying to field those questions."
Marquess says he wishes more could be done to vaccinate more people."
"I wish everybody would go so we can this thing and get it over with and get back to normal," he says. "Become America again, let's put it that way."
Campbell says Meijer and other pharmacy chains are preemptively registering people for COVID-19 vaccines. She encourages people to keep trying to sign up on 211 or ourshot.in.gov.