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Agency to help older southern Idaho population make COVID-19 vaccine appointments

Any person 65 and older can call the Office on Aging at 208-736-2122.
Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 4:53 PM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Making an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine has been challenging for many senior citizens.

Not having access to a computer or not being able to navigate the system has caused many to simply give up.

Putting you first, KVMT’s Elizabeth Hadley shares how the Office on Aging is working to combat this issue.

Peggy Rabe struggled for hours before she was finally able to secure her husband’s COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

“I was doing it for my husband who is older than I am,” Rabe said. “And it said ‘no appointments’ available. Well does that mean, there are no appointments available, no vaccine available? Am I doing this right? Do I come back tomorrow?”

She said it was frustrating and irritating to keep trying to make the vaccine appointment, and she isn’t surprised when she hears others say they just gave up.

“I know that the hospitals and the health department and everybody, they’re doing what they can, but I have some senior friends who are not as computer or tech-savvy, and I’m not savvy at all,” Rabe said.

Knowing the struggles that many are having throughout southern Idaho, the College of Southern Idaho’s Office on Aging and the South Central Public Health District have teamed up to help those 65 and above.

“And are having trouble navigating the system, and need help signing up for it they can call, or their family members can call if they can’t do it,” said Shawna Wasko at the Office on Aging.

The Office on Aging will take down people’s information and make the appointment for them right then and there.

“Any senior can call, and we will set them up,” Wasko said. “We will go through that complicated little system, where we sign them up for a shot, and then we will call them back and give them the time and get that all set up for them.”

They have also partnered with Interlink Volunteer Caregivers to provide a ride to and from the shot but only for those who truly need it.

Already having navigated the system, Rabe thinks this will be a huge benefit to the elderly population.

“If they can call and talk with somebody that will say, ‘What town are you in? OK, you’ve got these local pharmacies. You can get on their waitlist. They will call you,’” Wasko said.

Any person 65 and older can call the Office on Aging at 208-736-2122.

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