COVID-19 vaccine eligible recipients find ways to get through sign-up process

DENVER (KDVR) — More major heath care systems in Colorado are moving forward with their sign-up process for the COVID-19 vaccine, making it easier for eligible people to get the first dose.

Elaine Hatcher, 78, wasted no time contacting health care groups after learning she was eligible under phase 1B. She was frustrated to find that most places didn’t have a sign-up process or waitlist several weeks ago.

“I called every hospital I could think of,” Hatcher said.

Hatcher was able to sign up through both UCHealth and Stride Community Health. She received a notification from Stride about two weeks later, allowing her to make an appointment for the first dose of the vaccine. Hatcher says many others in her age group have not yet reached that point. She calls the process frustrating and confusing.

➡️ List: Colorado health providers offering COVID-19 vaccines to those 70 and older

“It’s discouraging, it should be easier. I have one friend who called me — she’s the one who told me about Stride but then she couldn’t get in anywhere,” Hatcher said.

The issues facing others in group 1B, particularly people age 70 and older, should dissipate as health care groups develop more streamlined sign-up systems.

Dr. Amy Duckro, Infectious Disease Specialist at Kaiser Permanente, says they have developed a waitlist for anyone interested in receiving the vaccine, regardless of when they’re eligible.

“First come, first served. When you sign up on the waitlist your place is reserved and as soon as there’s vaccine available and your phase is up for vaccination, then we will let you know so you can get an appointment,” Duckro said.

Duckro says those notifications will come by text, email, phone or by letter. Kaiser Permanente is increasing capacity dramatically. Duckro says they expect to be able to vaccinate up to 50,000 people in a week by mid-February, depending on vaccine supply.

“Right now we know that the people who are interested in the vaccine are coming out in droves. We just, as a state, don’t have that much vaccine available,” Duckro said.

Those who wish to sign up through Kaiser Permanente do not need to be an existing patient to join the waitlist.

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