Library staff calling those over 80 to help book COVID-19 vaccinations
KITCHENER -- As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues across the country, local library employees are helping to book appointments for Waterloo Region residents.
They're connecting with people over 80 who have pre-registered to book an appointment.
The region's libraries offered to help seniors navigate the online booking system, so anyone who indicated that they preferred to be contacted by phone will be scheduled to get the vaccine.
Staff at the Kitchener and Waterloo public libraries, as well as those at Idea Exchange in Cambridge, are rolling out the programs.
"I think that, with our help, it's just removing that layer, that uncertainty and that layer of trying to figure it out on their own," explained KPL CEO Mary Chevreau.
"We work with seniors all the time, we have a great program where we actually currently check in with our seniors who are a part of our Visiting Library program, so we know how to do this."
The region started vaccinating the people over 80 last week as part of Phase One of the province's COVID-19 rollout plan.
"We are very happy to be able to help with this rollout," Chevreau said. "To start with, we have eight staff who are going to be helping with the telephone calls and we are hoping to start (Monday)."
Anyone over 80 can pre-register online or by phone. The region is also adding those experiencing homelessness and frontline police officers to the mix for vaccinations.
"We won't know until we have really started the process, but we are committed to staying with it until we are finished," Chevreau said.
Public health officials said anyone who's been vaccinated should still follow public health guidelines, including wearing a mask and following physical distancing.
It's not yet known when the second phase will begin.