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Californians 65+ without access to technology worry about COVID-19 vaccine appointments

Vaccine Older Adults
Posted at 6:11 PM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 21:11:36-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that people 65 years of age and older are the next priority group for COVID-19 vaccination.

As the county prepares to make the vaccine available to them, there's growing concern from older adults who don't have access to technology.

They're worried they'll be edged out or not know when it's their turn.

"How do I get it? How do I make sure that I'm on the list?"

Those are questions Serving Seniors CEO Paul Downey says the organization is answering on a daily basis.

Public Health officials and state leaders keep pushing out information, but with each day comes more questions.

"A lot of our clients don't have a smart device," Downey explained. "You know a lot of older adults have a flip phone or landline and no WiFi. How do you make sure those folks get contacted through the state system?”

The state's website states, "most Californians will be vaccinated at community vaccination sites, doctor's offices, clinics, or pharmacies."

ABC 10News asked the California Department of Public Health how they're making sure people without access to technology can sign up and get information about the vaccine.

As of this writing, they have not responded.

Locally, San Diego County's website directs people to their health provider.

If that's not an option, they offer public locations and instructions for how to make appointments online.

A spokesperson for the county said they are currently working on a system in which individuals can sign up through their providers.

Downey said he hopes those in charge remember not everyone is technologically advanced.

"A lot of older adults are really anxious to receive the vaccine," Downey said.

The AARP says the guidance it’s providing to older adults is to call their physician. If older adults don't have a health care provider, they suggest consulting their local public health authorities by phone.