Confused how to get vaccinated if you’re 70+? Here’s what you need to know

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 7:35 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Now that vaccines are rolling out across the country, many people have called 11 News asking how they can get one.

And now we have some answers.

There are more than 56,000 people 70 and older in El Paso County, many of them are not vaccinated against COVID-19.

“There’s no way to directly schedule these things. You have to sit at home,” Dale Campbell said about trying to get a vaccine. “So here I am on four portals and not knowing where I’m going to get contacted.”

Colorado Springs resident Dale Campbell says the process of signing up to get vaccinated can be confusing. His age puts him in “Group 1B,” which means he is eligible for the vaccine. His only issue was he didn’t know if what he was doing would guarantee one. After days of waiting, Campbell did get a shot and added the process was much easier than he originally thought. But 11 News has been receiving dozens of calls each day from people 70 and older asking questions like his. So we took the questions to the El Paso County health department .

“We do know that people are confused and that’s why we’ve tried to make this process as easy as possible,” Lisa Powell, the emergency preparedness and response program manager for El Paso County said.

Here’s what we found out:

-If you are eligible for the vaccine, click here to go to the state’s website, then click “list of providers.”

-Scroll down to El Paso County and choose from the options listed on the page to get on a wait list.

If you’re not tech-savvy, providers have phone numbers you can call. For example, Matthews-Vu Medical Group is launching a hotline on Friday for people to ask questions.

“Our main idea behind creating the COVID phone line is to reduce those barriers for those patients who don’t have the connectivity and aren’t as tech-savvy and unable to get on,” Kaweah Vines, the director of vaccine management at Matthews-Vu Medical Group said.

The county health department says its okay to be on multiple waiting lists because you are ultimately going to get one vaccine. Still, when it comes to getting your Pfizer or Moderna shot, persistence and patience go a long way.

“Just know that our partners will reach out to schedule appointments as soon as they have one available. It could take a couple of weeks for a person to get from the wait list to a vaccine. But we are working that process as quickly as possible,” Powell added.

Below are phone numbers you can call if you prefer to talk to someone:

You can call the Matthews-Vu hotlines starting Friday at (719) 474-7380.

Coloradans 70+ who prefer to talk to someone on the phone may also call COHELP at (303) 389-1687 or (877) 462-2911.

You do not have to be a patient at an office to get the vaccine. Not all offices can tell you where you are in line for the vaccine, but the will let you know when one is ready.

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