By Tara Molina

CHICAGO (CBS) — The COVID-19 vaccine system was not set up with the elderly in mind. That’s the message a River Forest man has for Walgreens as he, like so many others, is working to make vaccine appointments for his elderly parents. He told CBS 2’s Tara Molina the pharmacy’s sign-up system has made that impossible.

Dave Elsner said it is a problem that there is no option to make an appointment for someone else. That person has to create a new account and then verify the account with a text or email, which is impossible for someone who does not have access to technology or is not computer savvy.

“It seems like Walgreens is more concerned about having people set up online accounts than getting elderly people vaccinated,” he said. “It’s frustrating.”
He was lucky enough to find an appointment slot for his 82-year-old father, who is high risk and a caregiver for his mother, who has dementia.
But he said when he used his own contact information for the appointment it autofilled his wife’s name. She has a Walgreens account linked to both of their phone numbers.
“It won’t let you change the name,” he said. 
He called Walgreens directly.
“They said, ‘Oh we can’t change it,'” he said.
He also followed up with their corporate help line to try to get a fix.
Elsner asked if everyone who signs up has to have a unique email address and was told they do.
But why? And why couldn’t they change it over the phone? CBS 2 reached out to Walgreens to see why there isn’t a box to check to sign someone else, like a parent, up or why there is no kind of accommodation for people eligible for the vaccine but lacking the technology needed to sign up for it online.
In the following statement given to CBS 2, Walgreens’ media team said they plan to release a new service next week that allows people who cannot use their website to schedule appointments by phone.
As demand for vaccinations continues to be high, we are committed to ensuring a seamless scheduling experience to achieve the shared goal of vaccinating our most vulnerable populations as quickly as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience.  We are preparing to roll out a new phone service in the next week that automates vaccine appointment scheduling for those that can’t use the website. 
But that does not help Elsner, who has an appointment Saturday that his dad cannot use. They are now forced back into the appointment hunting game.
Walgreens didn’t respond to Tara’s questions about making the website more accommodating for those scheduling appointments for others. And they did not give any details on that new phone system, or exactly when it will debut.

Tara Molina