REVERE, MASS. (WHDH) - Revere is launching a telephone system to help seniors who have been struggling to secure a COVID-19 vaccination appointment through the state’s website.
The state is moving into Phase 2 of its vaccination plan on Monday and residents 75 years and older will be first in line to get vaccinated, but booking an appointment online to receive a coronavirus vaccine has proven frustrating for many senior residents and their loved ones.
Mayor Brian Arrigo says the city is training about 30 volunteers who will be tasked with helping seniors book vaccine appointments.
“We know people are going to have challenges,” Arrigo said. “I think everyone kind of expected that there were going to be some kinks in this rollout.”
Arrigo says the city is also preparing to make house calls to ensure all of its 8,000 seniors get vaccinated safely.
“At some point, we may need to make some house calls, and we’re going to be prepared to do that,” Arrigo explained. “This is an all-hands-on-deck effort.”
Kristen Sampson says she spent hours on the state’s website trying to secure an appointment for her mother.
“The virtual waiting room, it was a long wait between a half-hour and an hour depending on when I tried it and then you get in, you put in your zip code and it says nothing is available,” Sampson said. “We were expecting something pretty easy and that’s not what we found.”
Arrigo noted that Revere is working to do everything possible to limit frustration and confusion among seniors.
“We’ve got an army of volunteers and staff who are ready to meet those needs for our seniors,” Arrigo said.
The volunteers start off by focusing on nine affordable housing locations in the city, as well as neighborhoods that have higher percentages of non-English speakers.
The town of Sharon has also set up a hotline to assist seniors.
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