Rochester organizations work to provide technology to those struggling to sign up for mass vaccination site | WHEC.com

Rochester organizations work to provide technology to those struggling to sign up for mass vaccination site

Raven Brown
Created: March 02, 2021 06:59 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Melissa McGee is a cancer survivor and essential employee working for the Red Cross two days a week. She tried and tried to get an appointment at the Kodak Hawkeye mass vaccination site, but no luck. 

“I called 311. I would get up early in the morning and stay online for hours at a time. I called my doctor. Nurse gave me a 133 number and I tried that. That didn't work,” McGee said. “Other means were talking to other people how they did get on how did they get an appointment but then I realized I can't do this by myself I need some help and that's when I called you.”

With the help of News10NBC anchor Deanna Dewberry, McGee was able to get her spot but said many others are still struggling and aren't so tech-savvy. 

“It's a real hinder for a lot of inner-city elderly people,” McGee said. “They don't have a computer to access. They don't know how to get on, they don't know where to get on at so we really need some help."

With technology being a big issue YMCA of Greater Rochester is assisting to help get eligible residents get vaccinated. 

“A staff member will be able to escort them along with their own personalized laptop for use of that time to a quiet area where they can receive assistance for logging on and setting up an appointment through the websites that have been provided Jessica Kingsley, Director of the YMCA Center for Equity at Lewis Street said. 

The Y is also providing assistance to transportation.

Ibero Chief Community Engagement Officer Miguel Melendez said they are also trying to work out new solutions.

“If there was more local control I would advocate for that,” Melendez said. “If there was an opportunity for organizations to help lift this work. Have organizations have a piece of this list you know go out and register a few 100 people at a time."

Melendez said the vaccine task force is working on an equity plan. 

“What I’m hoping for is we get to a point where we're designating some local supply and local control of the vaccine so we can get more people registered particularly in some of the zip codes that are being targeted now,” Melendez said. 

Again, the city did reach out to the state for an extension and was not granted one. 

The main opening will be Wednesday morning. The first vaccine is scheduled for 8 a.m.

State representatives tell us there will be people outside directing traffic the whole day and they are asking people to not come more than 10 to 15 minutes ahead of their appointment. 

If you live in ZIP codes 14603, 14606, 14605, 14606, 14608, 14609, 14611, 14613, 14614, 14615, 14619 or 14621, you can still sign up here. Starting Wednesday, sign-up will open to the general public.


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