A lesson in supply & demand? 90-yo Seattle woman walks 6 miles in the snow to get Covid-19 vaccine

A lesson in supply & demand? 90-yo Seattle woman walks 6 miles in the snow to get Covid-19 vaccine

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The marketing campaign for the Covid-19 vaccine can pat itself on the back: a 90-year-old Seattle woman was willing to brave one of the year’s worst snowstorms to get her jab, walking a total of six miles to the hospital and back.

Frances Goldman had jumped through hoops to get her vaccine appointment, bombarding local pharmacies and hospitals with phone calls every morning and frequent website visits, and even seeking help from friends and family in New York and Arizona before she finally managed to nail down a time on Sunday morning at Seattle Children’s Hospital. 

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When the snow arrived on Saturday, she realized she might not be able to drive to the hospital, which was just over three miles away from her home in the Sand Point neighborhood. Fortunately, after test-walking part of the route the day before her appointment, she was confident she wouldn’t have to risk her life on the snowy roads to get the vaccine she so desperately wanted.

While Goldman told the New York Times the appointment itself had gone smoothly, evoking the memories of the general societal sense of relief when the polio vaccine made its debut and she – a young mother at the time – took her kids to be vaccinated, she was disappointed by how the system had changed.

While the polio rollout was “done in a very organized manner,” she said, the Covid-19 system was a mess.“There’s no excuse for it being done the way it was,” Goldman complained. “It was unorganized, completely unorganized.”

Goldman did not say which version of the vaccine she received, though she told the New York Times she plans to drive to her second appointment next month. 

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While the elderly and frontline workers have been prioritized for access to the jab in most places, health authorities are struggling to meet demand as the general expectation is that life will go back to “normal” again once everyone is vaccinated. Some health experts warn the country will likely be wearing masks for years, however, while extensive business travel and large public events will remain a distant memory. Additionally, it remains to be seen whether the vaccines reduce transmission of Covid-19.  

President Joe Biden said earlier this week that the US will have enough Covid-19 vaccines for all residents by the end of July, though that does not guarantee they can be properly distributed by then. 

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