Newberg church assists in vaccine effort
A local church is helping people in the community get signed up for vaccinations with a new volunteer program.
First Presbyterian Church in Newberg is acting as a bridge between those who aren't tec-savvy and their online vaccine appointments, allowing more seniors to get signed up for their shots.
The program started when Corinne Waterbury, an elder at the church, heard of a woman at a local pharmacy who asked for information on vaccines only to be directed to a smartphone app, something an elderly person without much tech experience could struggle with. Noting the woman's frustration, Waterbury decided to put together a group of volunteers to help seniors navigate what can be a confusing process.
"Despite more vaccine doses becoming available, the roadblock for many seniors is how to sign up, as almost all vaccination sign-ups must be done online," Waterbury said in a press release. "Many seniors don't have good computer skills, a Smartphone or an email (address), which is required by many sites. As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues, many are still left confused and irritated by the appointment process."
The church is sending out informational flyers to the Newberg Public Library, Meals on Wheels and CPRD, along with some online email groups. Those interested in getting a vaccine appointment can call the church and are assigned a specific volunteer, who will help them through the entirety of the sign-up process with whatever provider they choose. Volunteers have a "cheat sheet," the release said, of all the various avenues through which people can sign up for a vaccine.
"One of the volunteers referred us to a clinic in Woodburn," Paula Buck, a Newberg resident, said in the release. "Both my husband and l got an appointment in the next week! I was so happy! Sure not an easy process."
"Newberg First Presbyterian Church's mission includes bringing grace, hope and love to the Newberg and the broader Yamhill community," Pastor Chris Murphy added. "During this time of the pandemic, we wish to live out our mission by helping people get vaccines."
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