LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Many of the nation’s 50 million people over age 65 who are finally eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations have found the task of setting up an appointment daunting.
Several states and localities across the U.S. offer online tools like websites and apps as the primary way to register for vaccine appointments. But 27 percent of people over the age of 65 do not use the internet and 41 percent do not have broadband access at home, according to a 2019 Pew Research Center report.READ MORE: Malibu City Hall To Reopen Next Week; Meetings Remain Virtual
Fortunately, young people across the country are stepping up.
Cousins Jacqueline Teague and Amelie Beck, both high school students at Sacred Heart Academy in Lousville, Kentucky, decided to volunteer to help older residents in their community after signing up their grandparents.
“We realized this was a need and our grandparents probably weren’t the only senior citizens who needed help doing it and then we stepped in and decided to help other people,” Teague tells CBS affiliate WLKY.
Cousins help register hundreds of Louisville-area seniors for COVID-19 vaccinations https://t.co/w1FpZ2XJ97
— WLKY (@WLKY) February 3, 2021READ MORE: The Forum In Inglewood Will Reopen At Full Capacity For Foo Fighters Concert On July 17
The pair created a template for a step-by-step guide on how to register for their COVID-19 vaccine, set up a Facebook page, a phone line to call or text (502-479-1313) and an email address — and dubbed the service VaxConnectKY.
In less than two weeks, the Sacred Heart Academy students set up 250 appointments for strangers. And while they juggle school work and sports, the cousins still make it a point to respond to every single email or call.
“This pandemic has been so awful and so hard on everyone I think the smallest difference we can make, it feels really good,” Beck says.
Sacred Heart’s interim principal, Amy Nall, said the school community is extremely proud of the teens’ initiative.MORE NEWS: LA Street Vendors Hold Large Rally, Claim Aggressive Crackdown From County Inspectors
“Through their service, Amelie and Jacqueline are not only assisting our senior citizens to secure their vaccination appointments, but they are providing a friendly voice and a helpful spirit of patience and congeniality that provides another healthy antidote — the antidote of human connection,” she said.