By Heather Janssen

PLACERVILLE (CBS13) — It’s a new chapter in history as local libraries now lend a hand with the vaccine rollout in El Dorado County.

“It’s a relief,” said Thomas Saich. He and his wife, Patt, are moving onto the next chapter in their lives. They’ve become one step closer to writing out life’s current villain, COVID-19.

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“Fear of catching it,” Patt said. “At our age, we didn’t know if we would make it through.”

For this couple, it’s one shot down and one more to go. But without a computer, getting a vaccination appointment wasn’t easy. Though it got done thanks to the local library.

“Very thankful she called us, otherwise we’d still be waiting,” Thomas said.

El Dorado County libraries are assisting in the process by putting seniors over 75, and without internet access, on a list to reach out to when a vaccine appointment may become available. This new way of placing a hold at the library helps solve a mystery for many in the area.

“There’s a lot of fear and anxiety and worry about how I’m going to get my appointment, I don’t know how to do it,” said Carolyn Brooks, the El Dorado County Library Director. She said the library has seen an incredible number of seniors reaching out for assistance.

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But at the moment, vaccines are still in short supply, and many people go onto a list waiting for their first dose. El Dorado County says they won’t have new appointments available until the end of the month.

Still, the library continuously adds to the list. Brooks said her team is happy to be a part of history.

“The staff really knows we’re helping to save lives by getting appointments for those who would not be able to make it on their own,” Brooks said.

Seniors like the Saiches appreciate the effort as libraries check out new ways to help in the pandemic.

“They are really taking care of the elderly people,” Saich said.

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El Dorado County says they can only give what they have, and with a scarce amount of vaccines it’s likely seniors may be on the waiting list for some time. The libraries will call people back on a first-come, first-serve basis depending on when they called.

Heather Janssen