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People Want COVID-19 Vaccine Right Away, But Signup Problems Persist

Analysis  |  By Alexandra Wilson Pecci  
   February 23, 2021

A new survey finds that 48% of respondents know someone over the age of 65 who has had difficulty signing up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The problems continue for people trying to sign up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

A new survey finds that 48% of respondents know someone over the age of 65 who has had difficulty signing up to receive the vaccine.

The survey also illustrates how vaccine demand is outstripping supply, with 68% of respondents saying they'll be getting the vaccine as soon as they are eligible to do so.

That combination of enthusiasm for the vaccine and trouble signing up for it has led to problems with getting appointments. In some places, these sign-up problems are happening in full public view.

The Massachusetts vaccine appointment website crashed last week, on the same day that residents aged 65+ became eligible to schedule their vaccines.  Experts said the high website volume likely contributed to the crash.

Website glitches aren't the only things preventing seniors from signing up for the vaccine.

The National Poll on Healthy Aging found that 45% of adults aged 65 to 80, and 42% of adults aged 50 to 80, said they had not set up an account with their health provider's portal system.

A lack of information is also a factor. Many people ages 65 and older who haven't yet been vaccinated say they don't have enough information about when (58%) and where (59%) they will be able to get vaccinated, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation's most recent COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor report.

These problems illustrate why revenue cycles should work to optimize their vaccine scheduling systems.

For instance, Georgia-based Piedmont Healthcare mobilized its Patient Connection Center to streamline vaccine scheduling.

Related: 4 Ways to Optimize Vaccine Scheduling

The PCC is a centralized department that completes preservice functions for all hospital‐based services and employs more than 400 people.

The new survey also polled people about several COVID-19-related topics and found:

  • 49% have never been tested for COVID-19
  • 25% have been tested once for COVID-19
  • 26% have been tested more than twice for COVID-19
  • 64% say they would get tested for COVID-19 more frequently if they could do it at home
  • 33% will or know someone that will be taking advantage of the new ACA special enrollment period
  • 27% has or knows someone who has lost their health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 46% don't know what health insurance options are available to them should they find themselves uninsured

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.

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