• Julie Katz

The Covid-19 Vaccine hunt

How to hit the vaccine lottery and help the elderly lucky enough to get an appointment

Getting on a wait list for a COVID-19 vaccine is hard enough, getting an appointment and getting to that appointment can be harder.

Most vaccine providers want you to go on their website and sign up to be put on the wait list. That is fine IF you have a computer and you are fairly savvy about navigating a website. Most older adults either don't have a computer or device of any kind, or have trouble navigating once they are on the provider's main page. Sometimes it means sifting through sales on oranges and makeup to find the right place on the site.

Because many older adults only drive short distances and not on the highway, they may be reluctant to be on waiting lists far from home and limit their chances of getting a vaccine.

Here is how you can help:

If you are reading this you have a computer. Offer to help friends and relatives register online. Use your email if needed.

More providers are finally realizing that people over 80 do not have computers or are not comfortable using them, so phone numbers for these providers have become available. You can also call your local health department (who may also provide vaccines) or 311, which is United Way.

Cast a very wide net. Put yourself, or your loved on, on the waiting list for sites up to a half hour's drive or more, depending on where you live. Do not only register at the one or two places closest to home if you want the vaccine in the next few months.

Once you get an appointment, take it even if it is not your preferred location or time. You never know when another one will come up.

Transportation may be an issue. Plan in advance how you will get there if your vaccination site is far away. If someone is driving you, plan on the vaccine taking a minimum of thirty minutes. The Extra Daughter will transport people who need transportation to a vaccination site. There is a two hour minimum, so you can do errands if you don't use your two hour minimum for the shot itself. If someone wants The Extra Daughter to transport them, we will try to get people on waiting lists for free.

One needs to be very savvy to get a vaccine if you are an older adult living independently in the community. Unfortunately, those without the wherewithal to put themselves on lists and get transportation are left out. It is a terrible have vs. have not that this system has spawn. The government needs to do more to help.

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