Late email responds causes woman to miss vaccine


ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. ( — A woman told News 4 she got an email saying it was her turn to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but when she filled out the form, her appointment was no longer available.

Currently, the St. Charles County Health Department has over 100,000 people on their pre-registration list. The state wants them to administer every dose within seven days. So, if you don’t respond fast enough, you run the risk of losing your spot.

Yvonne Lakes told News 4 when she went to sign up for her COVID-19 vaccine, an appointment was no longer available. 

“I mean, it was unexpected. You try everything you can to avoid any kind of exposure to COVID,” said Yvonne Lakes. In early November, Lakes and her husband, Tommie both caught COVID-19. Her symptoms improved, but Tommie’s didn’t. Her 72-year-old husband with diabetes, spent 29 days in the hospital, away from her, before he died on December 6.

“That was the part that was the hardest for me, who is going to fight the hardest for you? No one but your loved one, the person you care most about,” Lakes said. She is heartbroken but knows it’s crucial for her to get the vaccine.

On Jan. 12, the 73-year-old says she pre-registered with the St. Charles County Health Department. She checked her email on Jan. 23 to find an email, sent a day earlier, with a link to schedule a date and time for her first dose. After she filled out the form, she got a message saying there were no available appointments.

Sheryl Hancock says her 83-year-old mother is bedridden and last month was exposed to a home health care worker who tested positive for COVID-19. She’s had no symptoms and likely didn’t get the virus but the scare and worry made Hancock anxious to get her mother vaccinated. 

“I was deflated. I was shocked because I thought, why send that email and get a person all excited about possibly getting the vaccine, then telling them no?,” said Lakes.

“We are eager to get doses into arms as quickly as we possibly can,” said Demetri Cianci-Chapman with St. Charles County Health.

The demand for the vaccine is so high that people should check their emails a few times a day. If you don’t, your appointment could be given to someone else.

“We don’t have the bandwidth to call each individual and that’s why we are relying on email, we can send 100s of those at a time,” said Cianci-Chapman.

The health department also encourages everyone to check their spam folders. The email from St. Charles County with the registration link will come from, the health department says.

COVID-19 Vaccine syringe 

“If people are wanting a vaccine, they need to be checking their spam folders and checking their emails for that appointment time,” said Cianci-Chapman.

Lakes said she’s ready to respond right away whenever she gets a sign up link next. If you miss an email for your appointment, the health department says they’ll reach back out in the next few days or weeks to reschedule your appointment. Good news – you’re not bumped to the bottom of the list. The health department told News 4 it’s working on finding a better scheduling software so this doesn’t happen as often. 

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