100-year-old Detroit woman receives vaccine, highlighting lack of access for homebound
DETROIT (WXYZ) – It’s been an isolating year for seniors like Ida Sterrett, who was born and raised in Detroit. She has lived in the area for every 100 years of her life.
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“We have a cool relationship, I’ve always been here,” said Ida’s daughter Marsha.
Marsha lives with her mother and takes care of her. For most of the pandemic, Ida didn’t see much of her other family.
“Nobody came in; my sisters and brothers would come, but they didn’t go any further than the door,” said Marsha Sterrett. “Nobody came in at all for almost a year.”
When the COVID-19 vaccine became available, there was hope. However, Ida could not physically get out of the house for a vaccine and Marsha could not get a vaccine against her.
“Everyone I called couldn’t get anyone. So we just had to wait, “Marsha said.” Then my sister emailed you. “
This email sent us on a search. We learned that counties like Wayne and Oakland were vaccinating domestically. For Detroit, however, we couldn’t find any that are listed online. 7 Action News contacted the state health department and spoke to Dr. Alexis Travis, Associate Director, Aging and Adult Services, to learn more.
“Many health departments have started vaccinating the homebound and we have made some progress so far,” said Dr. Travis.
But progress has been slow. The state has identified more than 135,348 people ages 16 and older who receive home care. However, by April 26, 35,797 – or 27% – had been fully vaccinated.
“People who live in their home country are at higher risk of complications related to the coronavirus,” said Dr. Travis.
However, many patients at home feel that this is exactly what is happening.
“This is how these patients feel,” said Azsha Matthew, a nurse at Oak Street Health Clinic in Southgate. “Several patients have said,” It’s almost like we’ve been forgotten. “
Oak Street Health has been delivering vaccines to the home for a few months now. So far, they have visited about 30 homes when their efforts spread.
“These vaccinated patients have been looking for someone for more than three months,” said Matthew. “If we have opened a few bottles in the clinic and can pinch the house calls, we organize it that way. We could vaccinate anyone who called us.”
7 Action News found Oak Street after reaching out to the Vaccine Angels on the Detroit Area Vaccine Hunters Facebook page. A phone call was placed on Ida’s behalf and it wasn’t long before Matthew visited her to give her the first dose of her vaccine.
After 100 years, every day is a blessing. And thanks to this day, there are hopefully many more to come for Ida.
“It’s a blessing I can’t explain. It’s a really good blessing, “said Sterrett.” And it just comes from the man above who blessed her to be here for so long. “
You can contact Oak Street Health at 734-530-6777.
Wayne County Vaccine Contact List from WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd