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Nursing home residents, families try to be patient as vaccine remains scarce

Some people have gone to great lengths to get their COVID-19 vaccines. Others, haven't been as lucky.

SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, Pa. — For those who have elderly parents or family members in nursing homes, life during the pandemic has often been filled with anxiety.

"It is a roller coaster, and it's been every day," Charlie Palermo said. "When I do get calls from Hometown for one reason or another, I'm scared to death that they're going to call me and tell me that she passed."

Charlie Palermo hasn't seen his 88-year-old mother Joan since March when shutdowns went into effect. Recently, he and his family received a scare. Charlie tells us that, earlier this month, Joan was in line to get a vaccine at Hometown Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, but the vaccines ran out before Joan could get one. A few days later, Joan tested positive for coronavirus.

"I think it reflects, in our small area here, what's going on nationally."

Which, in many areas, is a vaccine shortage. Some people have had to cross county and even state lines just to receive their vaccines. Charlie hopes his mom will recover so that she can eventually get her vaccine, which would ease a lot of tension and worry.

"She is 88 years old. She has conditions that can affect her tremendously to the negative. We're just scared to death over this, and God forbid she does pass away because of COVID, what's that going to be like?"

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