Hospital urges 'sign up warriors' to assist elderly in vaccine registration


Down East Community Hospital today, Feb. 3,  released the following letter concerning online registration for the COVID-19 vaccine. The hospital urges residents to assist any elderly who might have difficulty registering online for the vaccine clinics, which will take place as vaccine doses are made available to the hospital.

Due to the volume of interest, the hospital is only taking vaccine registrations online, not via phone.

DECH today received 200 doses, and signed up 200 people, closing registration for the Feb. 4 clinic. Maine Department of Health and Human Services will soon announce quantities for next week's shipment, details of which will be reported on this newspaper's Facebook page as soon as they are available.

Addressing Online Vaccine Registration for those 70 and Over

There are many frustrations associated with the vaccine rollout and the outreach to those who want to be vaccinated; one of those being online registration for vaccine clinics for those 70 and over.  We are painfully aware, as are many other organizations trying to provide vaccines to the community, that this approach is not ideal for all members of that age group.  Nobody knows this better than we do as we are acutely aware of the demographics and barriers of those who live in Washington County.  We know, we care, and we are working hard to find ways to reach more people.

When the state asked who would be willing to be a vaccine site that could provide at least 1,000 vaccines a week, we spoke up quickly because we are committed to doing whatever we can to bring vaccines to Washington County. Internally, we have been continually discussing how to roll out these clinics quickly and efficiently to vaccinate as many as we can.  We know that not all who are 70 and over have access to computers or could maneuver an online registration.   Due to the swiftness that is expected to get these vaccines into patient arms, we have chosen the quickest and most efficient manner to do that while still working behind the scenes to find ways to reach those who could not sign up on the computer.     

As you do, we care deeply for our friends, family, and community and are heartsick that we might not immediately be able to reach everyone who wants a vaccine.  We have access limitations in Washington County, we all know that.  So, we need to band to together to present solutions to our most vulnerable seniors.  Please help us in this endeavor by reaching out to all you know and offer to be their sign-up warrior.

Reach out to your grandmother, grandfather, mother, father, uncle, aunt, brother, sister, friends and neighbors who are unable to sign-up online for appointments and offer to be their sign-up warrior.  We do not charge for our clinics so all you need to have is their name, address, birth date, and an email address (which can be that of the sign-up warrior) to sign up on their behalf. Thank you for all you do, and will do, to make sure we reach as many of our seniors as possible.

We know that not everyone can wait until we get enough vaccines to vaccinate all our seniors.  Please call 211 for information on additional clinic sites or go to the link below.

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