NORWALK, Iowa — Signing up for the COVID-19 vaccine has been a challenge for many, especially people 65 and older. Some seniors simply don’t have the technology or capability.
Thankfully, Norwalk High School Student Grant Kimball is offering up his free time and smartphone to help. His grandmother is the one who inspired the effort.
“She complained to us multiple times how difficult it was to find the spot and set it all up, and that kind of sparked the idea,” Kimball explained. “For people my age who are, I mean we’re on our phones quite often. We have Chromebooks at school. We are more accustomed to using this technology and I thought it’d be a really simple way to help the older community if they aren’t as accustomed to it.”
Kimball started a Facebook page to see if he could help anyone else. He says so far, it’s already seen thousands of views.
Once people reach out to Kimball for help, he starts scrolling on his smartphone to see where and when vaccine appointments are available. He begins at the Polk County Health Department’s page and starts clicking around from there. When there are available slots, he says he could sign someone up in about five minutes.
Kimball is in it for the long haul, and plans to continue doing this until all seniors are vaccinated. He hopes his effort sets an example for other teens.
“I would take this opportunity to implore and encourage other youthful people or other people who are my age to go and do this in their own community,” Kimball said. “It’s simple and it could really help someone.”
Because those 65 and older are seen as the most vulnerable during this pandemic, this was Kimball’s way of helping protect them.
“Because it’s so simple and because I’m already accustomed to using technology,” Kimball said, “it’s an easy thing to do for people and it could potentially save their lives.”
Kimball mentions people have to be able to print and send pictures in order for him to help sign them up.