For weeks, seniors have had a difficult time trying to receive their coronavirus vaccinations in Michigan.
Beyond getting the actual shot, getting signed up for a vaccination appointment can be a huge and confusing process for elderly residents -- especially since computers are needed to do so.
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, from Michigan, had called on the state to set up a phone system to help simplify the appointment scheduling process for seniors. Some senior residents are computer savvy, but many are not -- and they’d just like to speak with someone over the phone to schedule a vaccination appointment.
On Thursday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) held a virtual COVID vaccine information session, hearing from seniors who are beyond frustrated by the sign up process.
Michigan health officials walked seniors through the state’s COVID vaccine website, where individuals are advised to seek information about vaccinations in their local communities. Officials then encouraged seniors to call 2-1-1 for assistance with scheduling a vaccination appointment, especially if they do not have access to the internet or a computer.
Last week, the state pushed seniors to call 2-1-1 for help with the same issues, but those phone lines were quickly flooded and no one could get through.
More: 211 lines tied up after MDHHS recommends calling for vaccine help
Thursday’s meeting was the first time that state officials acknowledged what Local 4 has been reporting: The current process for scheduling vaccinations is not working for seniors.
And, for the seniors, this is a matter of life and death.
Watch Shawn Ley’s full report in the video above.
Michigan COVID-19 vaccinations: How to find appointments, info on phases