Volunteer army helps Florida elders book coveted COVID shots

Florida

Katherine Quirk, left and her husband, Russ Schwarz, pose for photos Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, at their home in Parkland, Fla. The two started South Florida COVID-19 Vaccination Info to gather information in one place for seniors to better be able to sign up on their own. The Facebook group alerted members as soon as a hotline had available spots, or a website was about to launch bookings. They soon found, however, that seniors aren’t necessarily glued to their phones and laptops, so Schwartz and Quirk shifted their focus to actually doing the sign-ups on behalf of seniors, collecting a list of vaccine-seekers with their basic information. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

MIAMI (AP) — A group of more than 100 volunteers in Florida is helping seniors navigate the technology-heavy process of getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

The volunteers stepped in after seeing the chaos and confusion that erupted when the state opened up vaccine eligibility for residents 65 and older.

They now spend hours toggling between numerous online registration platforms, checking on state vaccination supplies and making repeated calls to overloaded hotlines.

Currently, there are about 3,000 seniors waiting for one of the 120 volunteers to help them.

To boost its efforts, the group is also encouraging technology-savvy young people to pitch in and help their older relatives navigate online systems.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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