TULSA, Okla. — State health officials said they need all the help they can get to vaccinate everyone 65 and older.
The challenge is to register and make appointments to those who don't have access to the internet or who maybe aren't tech-savvy.
Thousands of seniors across the state either don’t have an email address or don’t even have access to the internet. You need both to register to get a vaccine. The Tulsa Health Department is now teaming up with a local organization to vaccinate everyone 65 and older.
“The portal is the main way to access vaccines distributed by the State Department of Health,” Eileen Bradshaw, executive director for LIFE Senior Services, said.
With only 28% of seniors vaccinated across Green Country, some of those remaining don’t have the means to register online. Their aid comes as the State Department of Health expects a 16% increase of doses over the next three weeks. But, the state said it will not move forward until everyone over 65 has the chance to receive the vaccine.
“Our focus is 65 plus. So I think we just need to stay focused on this group and continue every single week to have more opportunities for them to get vaccinated,” Deputy Commissioner Keith Reed said.
LIFE Senior Services is partnering with the Tulsa Health Department to assist in registration, already fielding more than a thousand calls a day.
Here’s how it works: If a senior doesn’t have an email address or computer, they can call life senior services. Over the phone, staff will ask questions from the portal and they will submit their information using the “LIFE” email address.
“It eliminates the need for a senior to have access to an email address and still get an appointment,” Bradshaw said.
But it’s a tall order for only 20 people on-staff. That’s why Bradshaw is calling on the public to help register family or friends who don’t have access to a computer.
Life has already registered thousands of seniors on the portal and are booking hundreds of appointments everyday. If you or someone you know is having a hard time registering on the state’s vaccine portal, you can visit LIFE Senior Services or call 918-664-9000.
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