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Need help registering for COVID vaccine in Hamilton County? Dial 211

More people calling 211 amid the COVID-19 pandemic
Posted at 6:09 PM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 21:24:06-05

CINCINNATI — All Ohio residents over the age of 80 are now eligible to register for a COVID-19 vaccination, but the registration process itself -- primarily hosted online -- might be a barrier for many people in that population.

Eighty-six-year-old Norma Koebbe called WCPO 9's newsroom this week asking for help finding a vaccination location and signing up.

"I have a lot of health issues, like a lot of people do," she said. "I sold my car last year, so I don't have transportation. I do have a neighbor occasionally that will take me, but I hate to impose on her all the time."

The Council on Aging of Southwest Ohio and the United Way of Greater Cincinnati both have offered Hamilton County seniors assistance in locating and registering for the vaccine. United Way's Moira Weir said dialing 2-1-1 is a resource for people who are struggling to register over the internet.

"They might not feel as comfortable with it if they don't have a family member that's able to help them; it's overwhelming," Weir said. "There's a lot of misinformation in the community, so hopefully they get to talk to somebody live. The person will walk them through the information, tell them what's accurate and what's not."

For people like Koebbe, the Council on Aging next week will begin assisting seniors who need help finding rides to their vaccination appointments.

"It's really important that we have this process and this service in place so that we can help protect older adults," said Paula Smith, the Council on Aging's communication manager. "Since last week we've experienced an increase in our call volume, at our call center."

In addition to dialing 2-1-1, Hamilton County seniors can call 513-721-1025 for assistance in finding transportation.