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Some Douglas County seniors struggling with vaccine process

Whether it be trouble navigating the online registration or uncertainty about how they’re going to get to their appointments.
Published: Feb. 2, 2021 at 10:38 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - COVID-19 vaccinations are underway in Douglas County for those who are 80 and up but there are some challenges for that age group.

Whether it be trouble navigating the online registration or uncertainty about how they’re going to get to their appointments. Getting the vaccine is proving to be tough for some seniors.

Karen Walsh is legally blind. She says technology can be tough at her age, even for those with the best of sight.

“A lot of people don’t have family or you know relatives even who can do it for them, so they’re totally lost,” said Walsh.

There is the option of calling the county to get your name on the list but the seniors I spoke with told me it can be tough to hear over the phone. One woman said she was told to call back when it wasn’t so busy.

“I think the biggest problem is having help getting signed and then when the time comes, having help getting to where you need to go,” said Walsh.

She often relies on the Eastern Nebraska Office On Aging and its rural transportation service.

Chris Gillette from Eastern Nebraska Office On Aging, said, “we need more people to understand that this transportation is there, it’s available and it’s so reasonable.”

The cost is minimal but there are some restrictions.

“In the Douglas County area, you have to live west of 120th street. Anything west of 120th and anywhere in Sarpy, Cass, Dodge, or Washington County, and we’ll pick you up and take you to get your shot,” said Gillette, noting while the service is helpful much more is needed. “If you’ve got an elderly neighbor see if they need a ride, they may be too shy to ask or think that you don’t want to help them, or can’t help them.”

Karen agrees and offers this advice, “go to the senior person and not make the senior person feel less than, it’s important how you present your help because we’re old, not insensitive.”

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