Why COVID-19 Vaccination Sites are Not User Friendly for Seniors
Unless you’re living under a rock, you probably know that the COVID vaccination program is currently being expanded on a nationwide scale. The first phase of the mass vaccination program went pretty smoothly and fast. But now that the seniors are next in line, it’s becoming pretty clear that the vaccination drives aren’t that easy an affair. Here’s why COVID-19 vaccine sites are not user-friendly for seniors.
These websites are crippling under traffic, long forms, and worst of all, there’s only a limited supply of vaccines available right now. This means that booking vaccine appointments are a stressful procedure for seniors.
So, if you have senior parents or grandparents who are struggling, lend them a helping hand. Luckily, there are many ways you can help, and we’ll dive into them at the end!
Why COVID Vaccination Sites Are Not Senior-Friendly
Vaccination drives are an independent domain of each state in the US. There are separate websites, help desks, and age limits for seniors in each state. People over 65, and over 80 in some states, are at the top of the priority list in the current vaccination stage.
However, this is also an age group that struggles with technology. This means that some seniors are missing out on the chance to book their appointments, making the eradication of the coronavirus more difficult than it would have been if the procedures were manual and in-person.
So, what issues are they actually facing? We’ve listed the primary ones below.
1. Glitches on Web Pages
There's a host of new web pages on the internet that connect vaccine-awaiting seniors to their corresponding vaccination centers. However, these emergency, makeshift websites lack the professional touch and interactivity which should be expected from a standard medical help website.
Instead, the websites are full of errors and misleading indicators, and plenty of glitches that really discredit the efforts actually going on for the mass vaccination campaign. This means that the websites are difficult to navigate for most adults, let alone senior citizens.
2. Form Requirements
Filling up digital forms is hardly something you can get done within just one go. The online vaccination form's structure makes it even more difficult to get an appointment without feeling frustrated.
There are rows after rows of fields and questions that need to be answered for the form to get processed. While the concern is somewhat understandable, that doesn't make it less hard to bear. From emergency contacts to workplace details to health conditions and so forth, it's a lot of information to remember and input correctly.
Besides this, applicants must also add scanned pictures of themselves and their health cards, medical certificates, and several other documents. Arranging for these requirements is nowhere near easy, and with the panic nearing an all-time high, seniors can hardly delay matters when it comes to their form submission.
As a result, this process threatens to tire them out and poses numerous risks of blunders if there's a typing mistake or any other human error.
3. Limited Slots
The COVID vaccine is currently available in limited amounts. While governments worldwide aim to purchase as many doses as possible, the supply is limited as the vaccine is still being produced. To top that off, it’s a double-dose vaccine, which means that two doses of the vaccine are required for every citizen.
The current problem with vaccination doses is an upsetting one. The moment vaccination websites go live for registration, there are only a few minutes before either the site gives away under immense traffic or all the available slots fill up.
With their painfully slow typing skills and even slower website performance, it's difficult for seniors to easily secure their spot. And not just once, but this process needs to be done twice for the two mandatory doses.
What Can You Do To Help?
Now that you know how hard it is for seniors to navigate COVID vaccination websites, it’s essential to figure out how you can help the senior citizens around you.
If you live in the same house as your elderly parents or grandparents, you can always sit down with them and book their appointment for them. Since you’re already living in the same house, you won’t expose them to any unnecessary risk.
However, if you live further away, you can ring them up and talk them through the process. It may be difficult for you to actually book the appointment for them, as you won’t have access to their medical records and other essential documents.
But booking a vaccination appointment is a tiring process – as you’ve probably realized by now. Luckily, you can also get help from other services, such as Ohana Concierge. This free service is devoted to helping senior citizens book their vaccine appointment. All you have to do is give them a call and let them know what you need. Ohana’s specially trained staff will take it from there.