Seniors having trouble booking COVID-19 vaccine appointments

As the vaccine rollout continues nationwide there is a cruel irony: some who are among the first people eligible to get the vaccine simply can not get an appointment. 

"Very stressful. I’m concerned I"m 88 years old," Anthony Triolo said. 

Triolo, a Newtown Square resident, is like many seniors with health concerns. He's trying to navigate a digital world of answering county health surveys and online registrations. But it took him two weeks to book an appointment. 

"I have some savvy with the computer. I use the computer. I do email. But navigating some of these sites are difficult for me to navigate," Triolo said. 

A person vaccinated against coronavirus at Montgomery County Community College

To help make the process easier for seniors, state health departments have established phone lines. Pennsylvania seniors can call (877) PA-HEALTH and those in Delaware can call (833)-643-1715. Starting Monday, seniors in New Jersey can find help by dialing (855)-568-0545.

Likewise, volunteer organizations are popping up to help seniors get their vaccine. Hope United Church in Voorhees, New Jersey is providing personal online help to seniors, such as website walkthroughs. 

MORE: Walmart expects to deliver up to 13M COVID-19 vaccine doses per month

"We are willing to FaceTime with them or talk on the phone with them as they process themselves. It’s just a matter of trying to troubleshoot and thinking a step ahead," Pastor of Family Heather Mandala said.

Of course, reaching out to a family member or friend is also a helpful option for seniors unable to book an appointment. The best advice is to exhaust all resources until an appointment is made to get that important shot. 


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