Ocean City sets up team of ‘vaccine hunters’ to help seniors make appointments
Shore towns in Cape May County are jumping in to help senior citizens get the COVID-19 vaccine, but they are not giving out the shots themselves.
“We just want to make sure that we took that anxiety away for our seniors,” says Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian.
The mayor says that the city is launching a COVID-19 vaccine assistance team to help older residents get appointments that can be hard to secure.
“We’ve gotten away from the personal touch. We’ve gotten away from customer service. Everything now is on your phone or you go online and it drives me crazy,” he says.
Ocean City has not designated a team of vaccine hunters who will take the legwork out of getting an appointment. They don’t have any special ins to the vaccine sites, but rather a knowledge of where to look for appointments and how to schedule them.
In the last week since they have launched this program, they were able to get 40 seniors scheduled and vaccinated. Most of those appointments were through the state’s megasite in Atlantic City.
“It’s what we’re supposed to be doing, so it makes me happy,” Gillian says.
Ocean City seniors who need help can fill out a form which asks the same questions most vaccine registration forms ask. The city is making sure that it is easy and accessible for seniors.
“They can come to City Hall, they can go to a community center really in any city facility they can come to and someone will help them or direct them,” the mayor says.
Ocean City residents who need help getting appointments can visit the city's website or call 609-399-6111.
Ocean City is not the only shore community in the county helping seniors. Nearby Sea Isle City is also setting up a similar program.