MUSCATINE, Iowa–Since Trinity Muscatine Public Health, area doctors, and Hy-Vee began offering COVID-19 vaccinations to people ages 65 and up in February, Senior Resources received many inquires from older adults seeking assistance in getting theirs. Vaccine providers also reached out, making sure Senior Resources had information about vaccine availability. Situated at this nexus of questions and information, Senior Resources set to work helping eligible older adults get the vaccines they need to keep themselves safe. “We have started getting some calls about vaccines and through conversations with providers that are trying to reach residents of this population, we knew we had to help bridge the gap and connect the resources,” explained Vision 2020 Interim Deputy Director Megan Francis, who often assists Senior Resources.
If a Muscatine County resident age 65 or older needs an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine but cannot easily access the internet or transport themselves to their appointment, Senior Resources can connect them to the services they need. Francis elaborated: “we are assisting in building a waiting list for residents in need of vaccinations, especially those who are homebound. We will also help seniors to sign up for some electronic waiting lists in our area and do internet searches for appointments.”
Along with these services, Senior Resources has also begun helping people sign up for appointments online. When Muscatine Hy-Vee receives a shipment of vaccines, people who qualify for them may register for an appointment to receive a vaccine while supplies last. If someone would like to book one of these times and needs guidance, they may contact Senior Resources and work with them to complete the online form. Additionally, Senior Resources staff member Laura Vargas can interpret for Spanish speakers, making it easier for them to get vaccine appointments as well.
Though it may sometimes take Senior Resources time to find and schedule an appointment for someone who contacts them, Francis offered assurance that they would work with everyone who qualifies to make sure they find a vaccine. “We cannot guarantee we will find an opening exactly when someone calls, however we can guarantee that you will not be missed due to any barriers,” stressed Francis: “Everyone really wants to be sure that everyone who qualifies and wants a vaccine has the opportunity. There are over 7,000 residents over the age of 65, so it will take some time to get to everyone, but our goal is for no one to feel forgotten.”
If you need help locating a provider to give you a COVID-19 vaccine or need help getting to your appointment and fall into the 65 and above age bracket, Senior Resources looks forward to helping you. Francis encourages you to call Senior Resources at 563-263-7292 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you need in-person assistance, you may come to the Senior Resources office at 1808 Mulberry Avenue, Muscatine, so long as you wear a mask. However, Francis reminds everyone that Senior Resources does not give vaccines themselves–they only connect people to providers.
As the COVID-19 vaccination process continues, Francis feels glad that Senior Resources can support older Muscatine County residents as they seek out vaccines. “Sometimes it is more comforting to talk to a reliable local source for information, and we want to be that resource to anyone who needs it,” shared Francis.