ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – There may soon be an easier way to sign up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Abilene.
Right now you have to fill out a Google survey online or call the health department and wait for them to call you back and schedule an appointment.
Long wait times on the phone or calls from unknown numbers could soon be over with a new software program called Inoculate.
“We will be changing the signup process,” said Annette Lerma, director of public health.
City Manager Robert Hanna says the way we are handling vaccine signups now is not efficient.
“It’s heavily labor intensive because we’ve got to call them back, we’ve got to schedule them, they don’t return the call, they don’t answer the phone if we call,” said Hanna.
Lerma says the new software will allow people to set up their own appointments.
“It’s going to give them a QR code, so basically they’ll walk into the clinic, they will show their QR code, we’ll scan it and send them right on back to get their vaccines,” said Lerma.
We asked some people at Rose Park Senior Center if they thought the new system would be easier for them than the current one, and the responses were much the same.
“I think it will really help,” said Tomy Lee Jones.
“Yes, mmm-hmm,” said Bonnie Cortez.
“Yes ma’am, I do,” said Margie Diersing.
“Yeah,” said Corina Gonzalez.
“I think probably so,” said Hubert Smith.
While some have gotten their first round of vaccines, some are still waiting.
“I went and signed up too, but I waited about three weeks,” said Corina Gonzalez.
All said they would prefer the new system so they can have peace knowing they’re on the schedule. But until then, Lerma says to pick up the phone.
“You need to make sure you’re answering calls from unknown numbers or number with no caller IDs,” said Lerma.
If approved by city council, the program will take about four to five weeks to be implemented.
Lerma says there will be about a week or two where the current link is down so they can install the new program, but they have about 10,000 people on the waiting list and they will still get to those people during that time.