A community center in Oakland Park has vaccinated more than 5,000 vulnerable seniors since it opened early January, bringing much needed COVID-19 vaccine doses to those who need it most.
“People come here and they’re nervous and I try to make them laugh,” said Saundra Edwards, who volunteers at Collins Community Center twice a week.
They’re nervous in part, because just getting to the site was difficult. These seniors are considered vulnerable because they don’t have access to the internet, computers or can’t easily get around.
“People don’t all speak English, they don’t all have the internet and transportation is really an issue to get people there.Those people who really need support getting here are the people we’re looking for,” said Mayor Jane Bolin.
Oakland Park vans come and go from the site throughout the day, bringing seniors who need a ride. Neighboring cities are also organizing transportation for those who otherwise can’t get there.
The city reached out to groups like Meals on Wheels, The Urban League and local churches to compile a list of vulnerable seniors. Now they’ve reached everyone on that list and want to expand to help anyone vulnerable over the age of 65.
“It’s just a life-saving event, I was able to get an appointment immediately. I was shocked,” said Marilyn Bianco, who was vaccinated Wednesday.
Chances are, Edwards will be the one taking your temperature and checking you in, helping to make you feel comfortable. There’s no place she’d rather be.
“It’s from my heart,” she said while tapping her chest. “It’s from my heart, whatever I do for my city.”
You can make an appointment by calling 954-630-4335.