LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – Health officials say the biggest issue when it comes to getting people vaccinated is the limited supply of the vaccine.
But for some people, figuring out how to sign up is almost as big a hurdle.
The president of the Kentucky chapter of the AARP says she and her husband had no issues with getting the vaccine, but she’s heard from others who didn’t have such smooth sailing.
“There has been confusion and I personally have connected with families on Facebook, ‘do you know where I can sign up to get my mom and dad’s vaccine?’” Charlotte Whitaker said, the president of the Kentucky chapter of the AARP.
Because the federal government never created a national plan, the signup process varies from state to state. Kentucky’s vaccine website lists dozens of locations and it’s up to users to figure out which one works best for them, then register through that organization.
Whitaker said she thinks that offers some advantages if you can get the shot locally.
“My thoughts are our local folks are going to trust our local folks. Maybe that doctor is that Ohio County Hospital or they have family members there,” Whitaker said.
Several surrounding states have similar programs with Ohio, Virginia and Missouri all directing people to register with a local entity to be notified. In Tennessee you register at a local place through the state website.
In Indiana and Illinois there is one portal for everyone to sign up through. And West Virginia, which is the only state to not take part in federal rollout, instead used independent pharmacies. They also have everyone in the state register through one website.
Looking at the number of people vaccinated, Kentucky is almost at the bottom of our neighboring states. But, if you look at the percentage of population that’s had their first shot, we’re basically in the middle.
Only West Virginia has been able to break away from the pack, something the state has received national recognition for.
So for the seniors trying to sign up in Kentucky, it appears they’ll need the same patience as others across the country.
“The number one problem is the federal supply at this point. I have Ohio County friends that are in Florida and they’re having big issues down there as well,” Whitaker said.
The AARP is planning a telephone town hall about the COVID vaccine on Feb. 11 at 11 a.m., which will feature guests including Gov. Andy Beshear. It’s open to all Kentuckians, with no registration needed. To join, call 1-833-998-0901.