Onondaga County is exploring better ways to communicate with seniors about COVID-19 vaccine sign-ups. When they opened vaccination slots this week, County Executive Ryan McMahon issued a reminder on social media with a link to online registration.
There’s also phone number with reserved slots for seniors, but McMahon said it’s not enough.
“Many seniors don’t get the digital media the way that a lot of folks do. These are eligible folks, and they are our most vulnerable folks. So we’re going to work on better ways to communicate," said McMahon.
"But even the communication doesn’t change the fact that yesterday we had 900 slots, maybe 990, and we had 80,000 people trying to get it.”
McMahon said that tens of thousands of people were on the site within minutes. By the time some people filled out the necessary forms, their slot was already taken. McMahon said the county’s looking at a number of alternatives to get more appointments directed to seniors.
“We can communicate to school buildings to get out to their staff. We can communicate to law enforcement. We can communicate with 911 and everybody else who is eligible. It’s the tens of thousands of seniors that it’s harder to communicate to," said McMahon.
"So that’s where we’re trying to find a solution for some sort of pre-registration, knowing it’s going to be a long process no matter what.”
McMahon knows the process is frustrating, but said until supply increases there needs to be patience. Onondaga County had its vaccine allotment cut this week from 3,600 to 900, and opened its clinic for just one day.