By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
People 80 years old and older could start signing up for vaccination slots in Oregon starting Monday.
Denise LaBuda with the Council on Aging for Central Oregon said that’s a great thing for those seniors’ mental health.
“I think they’re pretty lonely,” LaBuda said. “I think if they don’t have the technology to connect through a Facebook call or a Zoom call or a chat, they’re becoming more isolated than they would be anyway.”
But for some seniors, getting on the computer and navigating a website to sign up for a vaccine can be a challenge.
“One of the things we heard from the groups who serve senior populations, senior advocates, was that online system was potentially challenging,” Deschutes County Commissioner Phil Chang said.
LaBuda said Chang was instrumental in creating a phone line people can call to schedule their vaccine appointment.
“We worked with partners, St. Charles in particular, to set up a call in option,” Chang said. “Another way to enter the system through phone.”
The phone line can be reached at 541-699-5020, although it isn’t up and running right now.
This week, a small amount of first dose vaccine appointments will be scheduled only through the county’s vaccine interest form and through primary care facilities due to the low vaccine dose inventory the county currently has.
Those who need more COVID-19 information can call a different hotline, the Deschutes County and St. Charles informational hotline, at 541-699-5020. That hotline is staffed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.