For her coronovirus vaccination last weekend, 90-year-old Frances H. Goldman went an extraordinary length: six miles. On feet.
It was too snowy to drive at 8 a.m. Sunday when Ms. Goldman took off her hiking poles, washed her snow boots and exited her home in Seattle’s View Ridge. She On the edge of town he made his way to the Burke-Gilman Trail, where he made his way along a set of old railroads leading south. He then traversed the residential streets of Laurelhurst to take him to Seattle Children’s Hospital.
It was a quiet walk, Ms. Goldman said. People were afraid. She The falling snow saw glimpses of Lake Washington. It would have been more difficult, he said, had he not caught the changed hip last year.
At the hospital, about three miles and an hour from home, he received the jab. Then he was tied again and went back the way he had come.
It was an extraordinary effort – but it was not its limit. Ms. Goldman, who became eligible for a vaccine last month, has already tried everything she could think of to secure an appointment. She There were repeated phone calls and fruitless visits to websites of local pharmacies, hospitals and government health departments. She Appointed a daughter and a friend in New York to help her settle in Arizona.
Finally, a result came out on Friday at the Seattle Children’s Hospital website.
“Lo and behold, a full list of times pops up,” she said in a phone interview Wednesday. “I can’t believe my eyes. I went and got my glasses to make sure I was seeing it right.”
Then came the snow, which would eventually exceed 10 inches on record in Seattle’s most snowy weekend. Wary of driving on hilly, uncontrolled roads, Ms. Goldman decided to go to the hospital on foot. She Took a test walk of the road on Saturday to get an idea of how long the journey might take.
And on Sunday, he trekked all the way to the hospital to get his vaccine.
The appointment went smoothly, she said. And it held a special significance for Ms. Goldman because she could remember the joy of national celebrations in 1955, when another important vaccine was developed.
“I remember when the polio vaccine was rolled out,” Ms. Goldman said. She She was a young mother at the time, and polio was making thousands of children ill, sometimes having paralysis or death, and she remembers taking her children to the vaccine at a school in Cincinnati, where she lived.
This vaccine rollout “was done in a very organized way, and it made a huge difference in the way people lived in the summer – not only that people didn’t get sick, but they didn’t even have to live with danger. Getting sick . “
This time, Ms. Goldman is disappointed by the vaccine delivery. He said, “There is no excuse for this.” “It was unorganized. Completely unorganized. “
Seattle is one of several locations across the United States where residents struggle to access the vaccine.
“There is not enough vaccine in the state and the nation right now,” said Sharon Bogan, a spokesman for Seattle and King County’s Department of Public Health. “Even under the best of circumstances, we knew it would take time. We know that eligible residents like Ms. Goldman are having trouble accessing appointments given the limited supply of vaccines. “
The rollout in Washington State has been complicated by technology failures, equity reductions and frequent imbalances of supply and demand. State officials have struggled to establish the necessary infrastructure to determine and vaccinate the millions of people who are already eligible.
And while similar stories are trending across the country, vaccine delivery in the United States is slowly improving. President Biden said this week that every American seeking COVID-19 vaccinations should have one by the end of July, but he also warned that the logistics of distribution would continue to face difficulties.
In King County, health officials battling with limited supplies are working to distribute the vaccine evenly, according to Ms. Bogan. “We are focusing our efforts on qualified high-risk individuals who are not connected to a doctor or health system and are setting up sites to reach older adults in communities that are inconsistent by COVID-19 Have been impressed by it, ”she said.
Ms. Goldman is scheduled to receive a second dose of vaccine next month. She There are plans to drive.
And when it is all over, she hopes to host people again in her home, resume her work as a volunteer at a nearby arboretum and visit her new grandchildren. Whom she has so far avoided touching.
For now, she is making a lot of phone calls – her hiking is covered by several local and national news outlets. Meditation, she said, has not bothered her yet.
“I hope it inspires people to get their shots,” she said. “I think it’s important for the whole country.”
Sheelagh McNeill contributed to the research.