Seniors face technological hurdles making COVID-19 vaccine appointments online

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Since the COVID-19 vaccine began arriving from the DuPage Health Department in December, the DuPage Medical Group has urged their patients to register online to make getting a vaccination appointment easier.

"With over 1 million patients and over 150,000 aged 65 and older, we can't hope to call everyone individually," said Dr. Mat Philip, vice president of Innovation for DuPage Medical Group.

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Philip understands that going online may not be easy for some seniors, so they've added other options to meet patients where they are.

"In addition to that, we are mailing them and calling our most at-risk patients to make sure no one falls through the cracks," he explained.

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"Last night, we dropped both voicemails and texts to all our patients across Chicgaoland and all of Illinois," said Dr. Ali Khan, executive medical director at Oak Street Health.

Most of Oak Street Health's 35,000 patients are seniors in the Chicago area. Friday Khan said they've gotten hundreds of calls in response to the voicemails and texts. Staff at their call centers got extra training to help patients get their vaccination appointments over the phone if the seniors can't do it online by themselves.

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"As long as our call centers and clinics can keep up we are happy to get them scheduled to be vaccinated," Khan said.

Whether by phone or online, getting appointments will be limited. Healthcare professionals working to get information to seniors continue to urge patience.
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