How desperate was this 90-year-old to get the COVID vaccine? She walked 6 miles through a foot of snow

Seattle under snow - woman walks in snow to get COVID vaccine
Photo via Michael Allen Smith/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

90-year-old Fran Goldman had been fruitlessly searching for a COVID-19 vaccine for months. After seemingly endless waiting, she refused to let a little snow stop her from getting her first dose. And when Goldman got news of a confirmed appointment, she immediately took on the challenge of a six-mile walk through more than a foot of snow to get her COVID vaccine. 

The last several months saw Goldman and her daughter, along with a few friends, fruitlessly hunting for a vaccine. Every morning, Goldman was on the phone with the Washington State Department of Health in hopes it could produce a vaccine for her. She also scoured grocery stores with pharmacies for any potential options.

Everything came up dry. That is until Feb. 12, when she filled out an eligibility survey for Seattle Children’s Hospital and got an appointment for Feb. 14 at 9:10 am. 

“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” Goldman told the Seattle Times. “I had to get my glasses to see if I was really seeing it.”

Goldman’s plans were nearly derailed by an unexpected snowstorm, which hit her area the day before her scheduled appointment. Refusing to be deterred, Goldman bundled up and headed out with her walking sticks to ensure that she could make the journey the following day. About two-thirds of the way through the first three miles of her journey, Goldman turned around, confident she wouldn’t miss her appointment.

The next day, Goldman threw on layer after layer, seized her walking sticks, and headed out into the cold. She was only five minutes late to her appointment, and she left to walk home with the first dose of her COVID vaccine successfully administered. 

Once she’s received her second dose, Goldman hopes to resume the many activities she’s missed out on over the last year. She wants to shop for herself at the grocery store again, and, most importantly, she wants to see her great-grandson. He was born six months ago, and a full vaccination for Goldman will grant her the first opportunity she’s had to hold him in her arms.

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Sources: Seattle Times, NBC News

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