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100-year-old World War II veteran among those waiting for COVID vaccine

Robert Bendle, 100-year-old WW2 Veteran, still waiting for vaccine
Posted at 7:37 AM, Jan 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-28 07:36:59-05

BYRON CENTER, MICH. — A 100-year-old World War II veteran from Byron Center, by way of Kentwood, is waiting his turn for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Robert Bendle fought in the army in North Africa during WWII. After the army, he went to Ferris State and opened up a drug store in Kentwood.

“I’m pretty sure it will do some good. Other vaccines have. I’ve got all the others. I might as well have this one,” Robert Bendle said.

The retired pharmacist says he can't seem to wrap his head around why he hasn't had his turn to get the shot.

“They seem to be dragging their feet,” Bendle said.

Laurie Rivard, Bendle's daughter, has helped set her dad up for his spot in line. They've signed up at Meijer and Spectrum, and say Spectrum has been the most helpful through the process.

Rivard had to go online to set up both her 81-year-old husband's and dad's My Chart through Spectrum's website. If someone you know can't sign up online, you can call Spectrum here: (833) 755-0696.

She says she knows without her help, they couldn't have done it on their own.

“They wouldn’t know how to navigate this. There needs to be some kind of a method, for getting through the system. It’s been frustrating,” Laurie Rivard says.

Laurie says the most difficult part has been not knowing where they stand in line.

Spectrum released the following statement:

"We understand many community members who are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine are eager for an appointment. At Spectrum Health, we are working as quickly as we can to schedule as many people as we can.

Once community members register with Spectrum Health, they are placed on a list to receive COVID-19 vaccine. They will receive a notification to schedule a vaccination appointment based on eligibility per Michigan Department of Health and Human Services guidance, random selection from within the designated priority groups and Spectrum Health’s supply of the vaccine.

We will only schedule appointments when we have available vaccine. While we understand people’s frustration, we do not have enough vaccine to schedule everyone who is currently eligible."

In other words, there are more people in need of vaccines than there are available. Those who are eligible are being selected randomly based on current priorities.

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Robert says he's wise enough to know this isn't the end. But he'd really like to see the grandkids and great-grandkids again.

“I think we'll get through this all right. I won't. But younger people will. You will. We’ve gotten through a lot of things. The country is still the greatest country in the world. It’s the only one people are fighting to get in to. We’ll see what happens,” Robert said.

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