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UPMC launches online vaccine registry

UPMC launched a new website this week to allow those who are 75 and older to determine if they are eligible and register to make an appointment for a COVID vaccine.

On the website, Vaccine.UPMC.com, there is a survey to determine eligibility for the vaccine, which asks for information like name, email, date of birth, any underlying conditions, and more.

This approach is similar to the approach that UPMC took with their employees. Because of its success, they decided to mold it to be available for the general public.

Once determined eligible, the person will be able to register and UPMC will then reach out to the patient to create their appointment.

Registration alone does not get a patient an appointment, UPMC must reach out to said patient to schedule.

“It is very simple,” said Susan Duchman, vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer of UPMC in the Susquehanna region. “It is designed very nicely to be easy to follow and work through.”

She added that many seniors have already started using this platform and have had “positive experiences” with it.

“They felt that this really worked for them,” she said.

Don’t fear though, the website offers more than just registry, there are also educational resources on the page about the phasing process of vaccine distribution.

And, if you or a senior you know doesn’t have access to internet, UPMC also has a phone number, 844-876-2822, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. seniors can call, answer the survey questions and register over the phone.

Keep in mind, at this time UPMC is only offering vaccines to those 75 and older.

“The goal is to not create long lines…but to go ahead and have a flow of individuals coming in,” Duchman said.

She added that when these patients come in for their appointment, they are also scheduled for their second vaccination before they leave the building.

Though she said it is yet to be proven that the vaccine has helped with the decrease in COVID positivity rates in the area, she seemed encouraged that UPMC in our region is seeing “much lower admission rates” of seven percent inpatient compared to the near 40 percent starting a few weeks after Thanksgiving.

“There are encouraging numbers in our area…but the big impact for COVID is handwashing, social distancing, masking…those still remain the best protection.”

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