Seniors struggle to register for Covid-19 vaccine

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Vermilion County, Ill. (WCIA) —

As those Covid-19 vaccines roll out to Americans, some in Central Illinois say they’re struggling to sign up. You can’t always do it over the phone. In Vermilion County, you have to register online.
That’s frustrating for people who aren’t tech-savvy.

“We’ve had a lot of people calling trying to a vaccination,” Public Health Administer Doug Toole said.

A lot of people want them, but some are having trouble signing up, specifically, seniors.
Several people have reached out to WCIA saying they were having issues, including Gordon Hubbard.

“I’m kind of from the old school. I like phone calls more than that,” Hubbard said.

He lives in Champaign County, where phone registration is available, but he says he was directed online to sign up.
That’s also been the case for other seniors who have reached out to us.

“I really don’t use the text or computer very much at all, I really don’t know how to operate it,” Hubbard said.

The Vermilion County Health Department is only doing online vaccine registration. Public Health Administer Doug Toole says his office is doing this to streamline the process, for now.

“We’re switching over, start to use a computer program, so that people will be able to go to our website, click on a link, and then be able to schedule their own vaccination appointment and input their our data themselves,” Toole said.

Toole says they’re trying to help by giving people information about other avenues. He says vaccines may be available from other clinics, hospitals, or even pharmacies.

“We’re letting folks know that we may not be the only option in town for getting a vaccination,” Toole said.

Online registration starts Friday in Vermilion County, but Toole hopes to have phone availability in the near future.
For those in need of the vaccine, its just an added stressor.

“I just like the old ways of doing things. The communication with people instead of texts and online,” Hubbard said.

Other areas in Central Illinois are allowing phone registration.

Champaign County- (217) 902-6100

Ford County – (217) 379-9281

Piatt County- (217) 762-7911

You can also get Covid-19 assistance by calling 2-1-1.
That’s a national helpline, but it can also direct you to social services.

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