Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks says she knows people are frustrated and growing impatient with the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine.
She said the complaints aren’t falling on deaf ears and that the process is going to improve.
Alsbrooks held an hour-long telephone town hall to update county residents on the vaccination process, touching on a lot of topics, and, above all else, explaining how county residents are going to start seeing progress soon, beginning with the signup process itself.
“The state registration site is very, very difficult to navigate and has created tremendous problems for all of us,” said Alsobrooks, who called the whole thing “a disaster.”
“Right now, our office of information technology is working with our health department to build a more functional and user-friendly site for appointments,” she added. “It’ll take us a little while to build that site” but in between, the county is going to utilize the county health department’s electronic records system to do more.
With around 125,000 people pre-registered for the vaccine, Alsbrooks said it’s going to take time to get everyone scheduled.
Even with more doses expected in the coming weeks — about 4,200 per week — it’s going to take time. But the switch to the county-run systems will allow for appointments to be scheduled further into the future.
“By the end of this next week, those on our pre-registration list who have been waiting will begin to receive their appointments,” Alsobrooks said. “We’ll be able to schedule everyone in 1A and 1B and begin scheduling individuals in 1C within a couple of weeks.”
She said the county is also going to begin booking appointments for both the first and second doses at the same time, rather than seeing people get scheduled for that second dose only after they get the first.
No signup links will be used – a process that has led to some abuse as people share the link with others who aren’t eligible yet.
Another common complaint among seniors, as well as those whose parents are eligible for the vaccine, is the fact that you even have to go online to begin the process. Not all seniors are computer savvy, and the complications referenced by Alsobrooks can make it an even more overwhelming process
But there is another way.
“Any senior who needs assistance may dial 311, press pound, and you will be directly taken to the COVID-19 response unit for assistance,” said Euniesha Davis, who heads the county’s office of community relations.
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