Online vaccination signups complicate vaccine rollout for older Pennsylvanians

Written by on March 19, 2021

Online vaccination signups complicate vaccine rollout for older Pennsylvanians

By  Megan Frank

March 19, 2021

A health worker prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for members of Madrid Emergency Service (SUMMA) in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. Spain’s rate of infection has shot up to 435 cases per 100,000 residents in the past two weeks, prompting new restrictions as authorities try to bring vaccination up to speed. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Online registration for the coronavirus vaccine is leaving some people behind.

Listen to the story.

For older Pennsylvanians who lack tech skills, or who don’t have a computer, signing up online is an obstacle.

Bill Johnston-Walsh, AARP’s Pennsylvania state director, says this month, the group sent a survey out about vaccination sign-ups. Within 24 hours, they heard from more than 3,500 people. 

“We basically heard that this was the Wild West, it was a crapshoot and a degrading “Hunger Games.” They really felt at a loss to be able to get into the queue to get the vaccine,” Johnston-Walsh says.

There are not a lot of options for seniors, he says. And, even when they call, they may spend hours on hold. 

He recommends family members or caregivers help with registration.

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