GLENDALE HEIGHTS, Ill. (CBS) — We’ve reported many times about the struggle to make a vaccine appointment – stories of people staying up until midnight to find a slot, using multiple computers, and calling endlessly.
That desperation is especially felt by the elderly who live alone. CBS 2’s Lauren Victory took us inside Shorewood Tower Apartments, a senior housing complex where a pharmacist found a solution.READ MORE: Chicago Woman Found In Northern Michigan After Canoe Flips
“I’ve seen them out the window,” Carolyn Lacy, 67, said of her family.
After a year stuck inside the Glendale Heights apartment building, the great-grandmother can finally get a hug thanks to a mobile vaccine clinic.
“The freedom,” Lacy said. “Freedom is here.”
Moderna shots given by the federal government to DuPage County were allocated to a nearby Jewel-Osco for distribution. Pharmacy manager Farwa Imam said she immediately thought of Shorewood Tower.
“It’s just my neighborhood,” Imam said. “I want to make sure everybody in my community gets every vaccine that they can possibly get.”
Residents are no stranger to shots. Imam already holds flu clinics at Shorewood Tower. The flow is easy, she said – but that doesn’t mean coordinating the effort was.
“It was very time consuming,” said property manager Linda Kogen.
Kogen handled registration, paperwork, and assigning appointments – along with setting up a sign-in area and creating a waiting room. She said the hard work was worth it, because many of her seniors struggled to get vaccine appointments on their own.READ MORE: Family Sues After They Say Chicago Police Burst Into Their Home, Pointed Guns at Kids in 2019
“The people that live here – a lot of them, English is not their first language, and it was impossible for them to navigate the system,” Kogen said.
Let alone navigate the Internet.
“Everybody is not good with that, and I happen to be one,” Lacy said.
Feacious Johnson’s trouble is traveling. She’s 79, with multiple health issues.
When asked if she would have gotten the vaccine if it had not been brought to her, Johnson said, “I doubt it.”
“A lot of walking I can’t do, and standing in line,” she said.
The effort is protecting our most vulnerable and helping them make up for lost time.
“I’m going to Vegas!” Lacy said.MORE NEWS: Woman Pistol-Whipped On CTA Blue Line Train In Bucktown
Do you know some homebound seniors in a building? Contact your local pharmacy or county health department to see if an on-site clinic is possible – and be prepared to be very organized.