San Francisco company offers free webinars to guide seniors through COVID-19 vaccine hurdles

"We do it for the demographic that's most impacted by COVID and in need of the vaccine."
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Many of us know the frustration, the exasperation, the futility of waiting on hold to get an appointment or to find out who has vaccines. Those most at-risk, 65 and older, have found a way around those hurdles.

"We do it for the demographic that's most impacted by COVID and in need of the vaccine," said Lawrence Kosick, co-founder of San Francisco-based GetSetUp that offers all kinds of online learning.

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In the past 90 days, its free 30-minute interactive sessions have helped more than 20,000 people to get vaccine information, including those who are not experienced online users. Scott Sleek is a GetSetUp guide.

"We can share our own smartphone screens to walk people through their settings on their phone, some of their camera settings on their phone," he explained.

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With many senior centers closed and with access to libraries restricted, the greatest at-risk group has had difficulty getting accurate information.

"We have a moderator who will guide them through the website for that state," said GetSetUp's Kosick. "Oftentimes we'll have an ambassador who will recount sort of their experience around getting the vaccine in that state as well as a local medical official who can help us answer some questions."

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Nicki Taylor, 75, learned from another participant in her session that a nearby grocery store was giving vaccine shots. She received her vaccination earlier this week.

"The learners on these calls are helping each other," said Sleek. "Somebody may know something that the rest of the people that participating in this session do not. And they impart that information."

That's the kind of interaction lost due to pandemic isolation. Even those who can't get into a Zoom session can watch a live or recorded session on GetSetUp's Facebook page.

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