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COVID-19 vaccines aren’t getting to those in need. Blame the broadband gap

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In between school and other commitments, cousins Jaqueline Teague, 16, and Amelie Beck, 14 are spending their time trying to register seniors in Kentucky for the COVID-19 vaccine. It all started after something of an ordeal trying to sign up their grandparents — and then their grandparents’ friends needed help, too.

So the Louisville, Kentucky, high schoolers set up an email address and phone number, and then a Facebook page, figuring this issue was more widespread. They’re calling it VaxConnect Ky .

“People are calling us and they only have landlines, and they don’t have internet or a computer or an email,” Beck says. “That’s more common than I realized.”

As of this writing, Beck and Teague had gotten about 700 people either scheduled or vaccinated and had another 900 emails and 700 phone calls waiting for them. They’ve recruited their siblings to help, and reached out to the governor and local senators with recommendations for how to improve access.

“It’s the most important thing right now to just get the vaccines out as fast as possible,” Teague says.

The digital divide is a massive problem for the US , with the pandemic and resulting lockdown a stark reminder that having adequate broadband is […]

Click here to view original web page at www.cnet.com

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