Pandemic Pals notify high-risk individuals about vaccinations

Pandemic Pals
Posted at 5:46 PM, Feb 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 19:39:33-05

GALLATIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — A lot of people aren't tech savvy, or don't have internet, which can make it hard to sign-up for vaccine appointments.

At Volunteer State Community College in Sumner County, people ages 65 and up can get the COVID-19 vaccine. Kim Baker at the Gallatin Area Chamber of Commerce is calling on Pandemic Helpers in their volunteer group to reach out to their Pandemic Pals to let them know. "Also checking in to make sure they’re aware of the vaccine eligibility, the schedule, and different criteria as it kind of changes daily," Baker said. Learn more about the program here.

While Pandemic Pals help out in Gallatin, other places in Middle Tennessee don't have a program like it. Some states have turned to using Vaccine Buddies, where people help others with the vaccine process. Baker said, "I think that’s a great idea."

Trent Rogan lends a helping hand to his Pandemic Pal who is high risk. "I’ve enjoyed getting to know them personally beyond just food, or getting them a ride somewhere," Rogan said.

He said it's been rewarding, and he received a thank you note from his Pandemic Pal that meant a lot to him.“We can learn a lot from the older generation, and so it has been so cool just to hear the wisdom and the advice, but also just the encouragement to keep pushing on, even though we’ve had a pandemic,” Rogan said.

He said his Pandemic Pal figured out how to sign up to get a vaccine appointment, but not everyone is in the same boat. Baker said, "So we’ve asked our helping pals to kind of navigate this website and understand the information that’s available so they can answer questions of those that they are helping."

If you aren't comfortable with technology and want to sign up to get vaccinated in Davidson County you can also call 615-862-7777. For other counties, residents can call the state's help line at 866-442-5301 or fill out an online form here

Also, to be part of the Pandemic Pals program, go here or call the chamber of commerce in Gallatin at 615-452-4000.