BOONE, Iowa — Lyla Clayton arrived two hours early for her COVID-19 vaccine appointment just to make sure she didn't miss her chance to get the shot.
She took the hour trip from Boone to a West Des Moines CVS pharmacy in late February. Iowa does not prohibit residents from seeking a vaccine appointment out of their county of residence.
Local 5 told Clayton about more appointments available through CVS in other counties. She had been trying to get through to her local county health department, but it would only open up a couple of hundred appointments once a week.
"I would keep calling and keep calling and get hung up on," Clayton said. "Finally I just gave up on that way. And went to the CVS website and it was actually really easy."
Many public health departments have set up appointment scheduling systems through phone banks, but elder Iowans have had a hard time getting through to book an appointment because of the short timeframes, many of which are announced on Facebook.
Clayton made her appointment for the same day her husband had a doctor's visit with the Central Iowa VA Health Care System in Des Moines. She arrived early for her shot and was escorted to a private room.
"And it was no big deal," Clayton recalled. "I had no side effects, nothing. I feel great."
One of the first things Clayton did after she received her coronavirus vaccine was babysit her two great-grandchildren. She had only seen them twice over the last year.
"I had so much fun, so much fun it was a blast," Clayton told Local 5. "The little one, he was born in March. And when I first came in the living room, he was kind of looking at me. And then he warmed up and we just really bonded."
Clayton said she knows she still needs to be careful even though she's vaccinated. She said it's a relief to be able to get outside of the house and visit others for the first time in a year.
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