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‘Kicked to the curb’: Waiting C.O. seniors voice vaccine frustrations

'If that's at the expense of older people dying, is that a good trade-off?"

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ)-- The Oregon Health Authority recently announced that seniors 80 and older will be eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine beginning Feb. 8, with other age groups set to follow in the coming weeks.

But the agency also said this week there's not going to be enough vaccine doses to meet the demand, which can only add fuel to the fire of frustration many seniors have felt in recent weeks and months.

NewsChannel 21 has heard directly from a handful of seniors who have voiced their frustration with vaccine rollout, like Bill Gawlowksi.

"I know it's difficult, we're not getting vaccines fast enough," he said. I just feel like seniors are getting kicked to the curb, so to speak."

Gawlowski said he understood the vaccine being rolled out to health care workers first, but doesn't agree much with the groups following, given the high death rate among seniors. Notably, he cited teachers and school staff, who were vaccinated before most seniors.

"When it came to the schools, I have grandkids in schools too, and absolutely, schools are critical to these kids getting back in there," Gawlowski said. But again, the bottom line is, if that's at the expense of older people dying, is that a good trade-off?"

There are about 105,000 educators in Oregon, just over 12,000 inmates -- and and more than 700,000 people over the age of 65.

Deschutes County Public Health Services told NewsChannel 21 that they don't know yet how many vaccines they will allocated for next week.

"The week beginning Feb. 1, we did not receive any first-dose allocation from Oregon Health Authority," spokesperson Morgan Emerson said. "We're waiting to find out what our allocation will be for next week will be, if any."

Emerson explained how those looking to get vaccinated can get started on the process.

"You can sign up at to be notified when you're eligible to schedule an appointment and receive information on how to schedule it," Emerson said.

And for those with limited transportation, trying to make their way to the fairgrounds in Redmond, where vaccinations are happening?

"If you have Medicare or a health insurance plan that covers medical transport, you can use that benefit to schedule a ride to the Fair and Expo Center for appointments," Emerson said.

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Blake Allen

Blake Allen is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Blake here.



    1. I know that you care a lot, maybe the most caring of anyone really. Caring is a beautiful virtue for you to signal. Maybe even heroic levels of caring are on display.
      But, how does wanting seniors vaccinated first even relate to fascism? Death penalty? In fact, this post is impossible to interpret.
      Will you rewrite it in a way that your ‘feelings’ are crystal clear?

        1. Last century the Bolsheviks prioritized criminals over common citizens. For example, a Christian could be imprisoned for “crimes against the state” under Article 58 after being accused of praying for the death of Stalin, a charge which is entirely impossible to prove false. After being sentenced to either 10 or 25 years hard labor in the Gulag system (slow death) he would find his new prison guard was the guy who stole his plow the month before. Thus, prioritizing prisoners over the general population is in fact a leftist kinda thing. Check mate:)

  1. Entitlement: the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment

    My buddy in Arizona got the shot today. He was escorting his parents to get theirs, told the guy with the clipboard he was their caretaker and slipped him a $50, and bam he was suddenly on the list too. True story.

    1. Why did he slip him a 50? Paid or unpaid caregivers qualify for the vaccine both here and in AZ. Have you taken the time to read the parameters for vaccination on the website? It’s worth reading rather than relying on “true stories”, regardless of where they originate.

      1. He was visiting his parents from out of state to help them, and is months away from getting the shot where he lives, so made the most of an opportunity. I get what you’re saying though, thank you for pointing that out.

  2. Hey seniors. As the part of our population able to keep your mostly retired selves secure at home you should do so. The idea that we are administering a vaccine to people who can lock themselves in their homes over people who have no choice but to interact with the rest of society is in no way scientific. Saving an 80 year old person who is at end of life over someone say… 50 makes no sense whatsoever.

    1. What a pile of crap it was the seniors in this country that fought wars to allow you to spout off. School teachers should not be ahead in the line as they are not high risk except to bow to their union dictators.

      1. Teachers not at high risk??!! They are the ones that are forced to go back to work, or are volunteering to go back despite the increased risk of getting COVID due to entitled fools like you who send their COVID filled kids to school. Most of the 80+ year old have the luxury of being retired and ability to sit at home and not risk exposure. And if you want to pull the BS “we fought in war” card, then I will gladly put all the vets that have fought in all the other wars since WWII who are still in the workforce making this country operate while risking continued exposure in front of you and all other WWII vets.

        1. Nurses and doctors have been on the front lines for months without a shot, doing their jobs, and not complaining so much. Private schools have been open for quite some time now, while public schools remain closed or have distance learning. Even after the CDC comes out and says that schools can safely open without teachers having the vaccine, If you dont feel safe, quit , someone will take your place. If you cant do your own research, and dont have critical thinking skills, perhaps the students would be better off without you.

          1. And if you are 80+, retired, and have nothing better to do, then shut up and sit at home and wait your turn for a vaccine. Perhaps the country and economy will be better off without you
            I(sitting at home) while the rest of us who contribute to the operation of the country and economy get vaccinated.

    2. I could not echo this statement louder. IMO, seniors should be MANY phases down the line to receive a vaccine. All seniors over 80 who are retired and have no where to go and a CHOICE to sit at home can stop going to bingo for a few more months. Others that are being forced into exposure should be before seniors. This group includes all healthcare works and support staff, all education providers, and all restaurant works (who are force to feed the ignorant).

    3. I think it’s more about not overcrowding the hospitals if they are going for the over 80 crowd. But you are correct that people with dependents or unable to retire should be earlier perhaps.

  3. Unbelievable! Our State determined that criminals have priority over those who are most likely to die of the disease!!! Of course the elderly Medicare costs are high, but they paid for it too. Prisoners pay nothing for their care which costs the State a huge chunk of money.)
    Typical left-handed thinking…logic need not apply.

  4. I am so disappointed that our Governor chose to ignore science. We have so many seniors that are unable to retire and are essential workers. They are at the most risk but yet the teachers union was able to lobby her to forget the science and leave the seniors out. My dad is in his 70’s and is an essential worker. He has worked through out this pandemic and looks like he will be lucky to get it in a month at this point.

  5. Sorry seniors, but Queen Brown, and her court have decided that the people who raped you, your children, you’re grandchildren, robbed you, killed part of your family, stole your identity, ect, ect , ect, that their Constitutional rights, are a priority over yours, As of January 28th 41 people have died wile being in Oregon’s prisons. Witch I agree is just not acceptable.
    The States total deaths is 1998 persons, as of today, approximately 77% of those have been age 65 or older, that would put seniors at 1538 death’s, witch it look’s like Queen brown, has found to be more acceptable, in my opinion, you have not only been kicked to the curb, the Queen is STILL kicking you.

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