GLENDALE, Calif. - The COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available for all Californians, but many continue to fall through the cracks and aren’t getting vaccinated. In Glendale, nurses and fire personnel are working to get the vaccine to homebound seniors.
"I have been stuck in my house for over a year," said Lynn Whaley, while getting her COVID-19 vaccine, along with 95-year-old John Luther. The two were able to get the vaccine from a team of Glendale Fire Department personnel, doing home visits with a Glendale Memorial nurse, to administer vaccines.
Vaccinating homebound seniors has become a priority, as many have not been able to get to vaccine sites across Los Angeles County. On March 23, the LA County Board of Supervisors voted to direct the County health department to strategize with a new focus on seniors stuck at home. According to Supervisor Hilda Solis, some 220,000 county residents receive in-home support services, with 55,000 getting daily meals.
"It’s a group that fell through the cracks," explained Glendale Fire Chief Todd Tucker, and they are particularly grateful when they see us.
Whaley says she’s been trying to get an appointment with no luck, so this opportunity is "amazing." For Zohrab Markosyan and Edwin Baghdassarian, who joined the Fire Department to help people, it’s particularly touching to see how grateful people are to see them "especially after seeing so many people, so sick, in the hospital this winter," said the nurse with them.
Pella Pashabezyan, from Glendale Memorial, spends a lot of time with seniors who only speak Armenian, as they have been particularly vulnerable, in many cases, feeling disconnected from the outside world.
"It’s really special," she said.
If you live in Glendale, are over 65, and would like to sign up for the program, you can call 818-550-5617. Those who speak Armenian can call 818-550-5687.