How to Get Your Elderly Parents Vaccines Fast
CareYaya, an innovative care platform connecting senior citizens with quality and affordable in-home care, has cracked the code on how to help North Carolina's elderly population get rapidly vaccinated during this long and exhausting pandemic. Our team personally grew frustrated with the lack of public information and availability of vaccines in Raleigh and the surrounding areas, and decided to do something about it! CareYaya has built a step-by-step guide for our family & friends on how to quickly access COVID-19 vaccinations in Raleigh, that we now offer to you pro bono as a public service. Just consider it part of CareYaya's mission: to improve lives of every senior citizen utilizing technology.
Well, what's the secret? Read on...
Step 1: Make A List of Nearby Counties That You Can Drive to
North Carolina has unfortunately been slow to vaccinate its population, currently ranking 31st out of the US states and territories in % of population vaccinated, per data from the New York Times. As a result, many counties are quite low on vaccine supplies, and it's nearly impossible to get vaccinated in certain counties unless you're in a much older age group or have pre-existing conditions (and even then, it's difficult!)
Fortunately (and most people don't realize this), you can qualify and get vaccinated in nearby counties! For folks living in Raleigh and the Wake County area, we suggest utilizing Google Maps to find the nearby counties, or referencing an official source from the North Carolina government. Make a list of what counties are driving distance from the senior citizen's home - whether Durham, Chatham or Orange to the east, or Johnston and Harnett to the West, or any others you're willing to drive to!
Step 2: Research The Nearby Counties and Narrow Down Potential Providers
Once you've narrowed down the list of NC counties, visit this super helpful website from the NC Dept of Health & Human Services to "find your spot to take your shot"!
First, find your vaccine "Group" designation, based on a few limited criteria such as your age and type of work, at Find My Group NC. Next, use the local Vaccine Finder tool to find the nearby locations within 10, 25 or 50 miles of your address. Make a list of these providers, writing down the name, phone numbers and addresses. Some even have helpful links where you can access vaccine registration directly (however some of the smaller providers don't, so keep a note of phone numbers).
Step 3: Start Calling & Emailing!
Now that you have a list of providers nearby that are able to take you, start dialing! Call the providers directly, visit their websites and sign up thru registration forms for the next available vaccine. Get your family or loved ones to help! If you're feeling strapped for time, keep a running list and knock out 5 calls during your lunch break or after work. (Note: phone hold times at many providers can be frustrating, so prepare to be patient.)
It is vital to check different providers. Eligibility for vaccine varies county-by-county, so even if your loved one gets turned down in one county, a provider in a nearby county may offer a shot sooner. For example, while NC has opened Phase Two to adults 65+, some counties may still be on Phase One or adults 75+ due to logistical issues or low supply.
Keep in mind - North Carolina refreshes vaccine supplies weekly! So don't give up! Supplies should improve over time, and we hope the state can get ample vaccines to those who need them by mid-2021.
Step 4: Register & Wait
As you find a provider to take your loved one for a vaccination, complete the registration form right away and get on the list!
Make sure you have your loved one's date of birth and full mailing address handy. Also keep a list of their pre-existing conditions that may place them in a high-risk category for COVID.
Step 5: Take Your Shot!
As the lucky day approaches, prepare yourself adequately with calendar reminders so you don't miss the appointment. If you're on a waiting list, sign up for the provider to email or text you reminders of potential upcoming availability, so you can be prepared to pounce as soon as something opens up.
CareYaya Wishes You Luck!
We hope our readers find the links and information helpful in scheduling quick and efficient COVID-19 vaccinations for their elderly family members or friends. While the pandemic has upended life as we know it and led to confusion and uncertainty, we hope that by sharing our knowledge and insights, even one person may get the vaccine and peace of mind that they need to make it through this stressful time. We work hard to bring the world one step closer to fulfilling CareYaya's mission: to improve lives of every senior citizen utilizing technology.