SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - Seniors may be some of the first in line to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but just making the appointment can be a difficult task when a lot is done through a patient portal online.
"Although my friends were able to help their parents, I worried that there were grownups out there who didn't have help or computers," said Steph Baker.
Steph Baker, a Sacramento Realtor, took to Facebook and started up an "Adopt a Neighbor" campaign, calling on everyone to help their fellow seniors get their vaccines, including everything from making phone calls for them to helping them navigate their patient portal.
"Community health comes from all of us being vaccinated and the seniors are the first to get it because they're most at work. So helping our seniors are super important to me," Baker told CBS13.
"I mean, come on, these are people that computers weren't in their lifetime," said Pat Beal.
Beal, the Executive Director of the Senior Center of Elk Grove knows patient portals can be difficult for anyone to navigate, especially if the system goes down with so many using them during the pandemic.
"I had a checkup happening. I have three devices. I have my computer, my phone, and my iPad, none of which worked," said Beal.
While Beal welcomes the idea of neighbors helping seniors, she also stresses make sure you're passing on the right information.
"I think it's commendable if someone wants to go help. I think that's lovely. I think it shows a big heart and it's lovely. Just make sure the information that you're able to get is current because it changes every day," Beal told CBS13.
Vaccine information for seniors really is changing from one day to the next. The state epidemiologist said Wednesday, vaccinating Californians 65 and over could now take until June to complete.
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"I can only imagine that being home alone, sheltered in place for their health safety can be isolating and that a neighbor reaching out can really make a difference," said Baker.
Sacramento Councilmember Eric Guerra sent CBS13 this statement:
"Stephanie Baker's idea to help our neighbors who are seniors and may have physical and technology challenges is a showing of kindness and love for our fellow Sacramentans while also increasing our resilience to the virus. Without all of us taking part in the vaccine we will not succeed. I encourage all our Sacramentans to connect with our senior neighbors and will also use our city outreach tools to help."
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