Woman, 90, Walked Six Miles in the Snow for a Vaccine

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, dusted off her snow boots and moved from her home in the Seattle neighborhood of View Ridge. He made his way along the city to the Burke-Gilman Trail, where he made his way along a set of old railroads heading south. Then he explored the residential streets of Laurelhurst to reach Seattle Children’s Hospital.

It was a quiet walk, Ms. Goldman said. People were rare. He glimpsed Lake Washington through the falling snow. 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 away 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. He made repeated phone calls and wasteful visits to websites of local pharmacies, hospitals and government health departments. He helped appoint a daughter and a friend to Arizona in New York.

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 snow, which would eventually fall more than 10 inches One of Seattle’s most icy weekends on record. Wary of driving on hilly, uncontrolled roads, Ms. Goldman decided to go to the hospital on foot. He took a test walk part 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 Joy of national celebrations in 1955, When another important vaccine was developed.

“I can remember back When the polio vaccine was rolled out, ”Said Ms. Goldman. She was a young mother at the time, and polio was making thousands of children ill, sometimes with paralysis or death, and she remembers her children receiving the vaccine at a school in Cincinnati, where she lived. was.

This vaccine rollout “was done in a very organized way, and it made a huge difference in the way people lived in summer – not only that people didn’t get sick, but they didn’t have to live with danger. Getting sick . “

This time the delivery of vaccine has disappointed Ms. Goldman. 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 across the state and the country,” said Sharon Bogan, a spokesperson 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. “

Rollout in Washington State has been complicated by failures TechnologyDecrease in Equity And a constant Imbalance Supply and demand. State officials have Struggled to set up the necessary infrastructure Scheduling and immunizing millions of people who are already eligible.

And while similar stories have run across the country, Vaccine delivery is improving gradually In the United States. President Biden said this week that every American seeking Kovid-19 vaccinations should have one by the end of July, but he also warned that there would be difficulties with the logistics of delivery.

According to Ms. Bogan, in King County, health officials with limited supplies are working to distribute the vaccine evenly. “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 unfavorable by Kovid-19 Have been impressed, ”she said.

Ms. Goldman is scheduled to receive her second dose of vaccine next month. He planned to drive.

And when it is all over, she hopes to re-host the people in her home, resume her work as a volunteer at a nearby arboretum and send her new great-grandchildren Holds, which he has so far avoided touching.

For now, she is making a lot of phone calls – her long run has been covered by many Local And The national News The shops. 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.”

Sheilagh McNeill contributed to the research.

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