Older adults receive COVID-19 vaccine through mobile clinic

Jan. 6, 2021

For Rosalie Lane, who is almost 79, what happened Wednesday at her home at the Villas at Sunny Vista, was like Christmas – minus the lasagna.

Rosalie Lane receives COVID-19 vaccination
Rosalie Lane receives a vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The vaccine was administered by a team from UCHealth’s mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinic. Photo: UCHealth.

The delivery of the Pfizer vaccine to protect against COVID-19 by a team from UCHealth Memorial Hospital was a gift like no other for Lane – peace of mind.

When Lane heard from Cathy Post, the director at the Villas, that residents 70 and older could receive the vaccine at the Villas on Wednesday, Lane wasted no time getting signed up.

“I was the first one to write my name on the list,’’ Lane said. “We’ve been very lucky, and we’re probably one of the luckiest ones because we’re first. We can’t ask for anything more than that. I’m so excited, I haven’t stopped talking since I heard about it yesterday.’’

COVID-19 Mobile Vaccine Clinic

UCHealth activated its COVID-19 mobile vaccine clinic at Sunny Vista on Wednesday, an initiative aimed at providing vaccines to adults who are age 70 and older, in accordance with guidance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The mobile vaccine clinics are held at facilities where multiple people live.

Chris Bianca, senior director of oncology services and a member of the mobile vaccine team, said the clinics are designed to serve adults who have difficulty getting to a UCHealth clinic, either because of a disability or transportation challenges.

“It’s been a big focus of ours to be able to get to as many people as possible and to be able to support those folks that aren’t able to get to our locations. It’s a big initiative,’’ Bianca said. “We’re excited to support the community. We know this is a need. We know this is a big concern. We want to be at the forefront of this and get the vaccine to our community.’’

Eva Hoeb
Eva Hoeb prepares paperwork with Stacie York, who will deliver a vaccine to prevent COVID-19. Photo: UCHealth.

Gov. Jared Polis on Dec. 30 moved adults ages 70 and older into the second tier of people who will be prioritized for vaccines as Colorado continues to receive shipments. Adults ages 70 and older will receive an invitation through My Health Connection, UCHealth’s patient portal, to schedule an appointment for vaccinations. To learn how to sign up for a My Health Connection account, please click here.

Lane said she hoped that after receiving the vaccine, she would be able to have more visitors who so far, have been reluctant to visit for fear of infecting her with COVID-19. She’s always been diligent about getting an annual flu shot and she has had her shingles vaccines.

Janice Betha receives vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
Janice Betha receives a shot from Stacie York to prevent COVID-19. Photo: UCHealth.

After receiving the vaccine, she said joyfully: “Can’t feel a thing. That was the best shot I ever got in my whole life. I’m ready for the next one.’’

Lane will receive a booster shot in four weeks to provide additional protection against COVID-19. She was among a couple dozen residents of the Villas at Sunny Vista to receive the shot on Wednesday.

Janice Betha, who turned 84 on New Year’s Day, had worked in hospitals for most of her life as a certified nurse assistant before retiring at the age of 72. She said she appreciated the opportunity to get the vaccine.

“It’s the right thing to do. I’m not afraid or anything. It’s just the thing to do,’’ Betha said.

Betha said she’s been pretty careful during the pandemic. She’s been wearing a mask and social distancing and leaving her apartment only to get groceries.

“I have a lot of hobbies, so I’m not bored. I crochet and do crossword puzzles. I babysit my two little grandsons. One is going to be 4 and one is soon to be 7,’’ she said.

She marveled at the team from UCHealth, which included men dressed in handsome suits.

“Look at all these young guys dressed up in their suits,’’ Betha said. “I’d take a shot from each one of them.’’

Resident Eva Hoeb was also eager to get her shot. As the wife of a career Air Force man, she said she’d received many vaccinations in her lifetime.

“I’ve had every shot there is. If I wanted to go with him, I had to do all that,’’ Hoeb said.

She moved to Colorado Springs more than 20 years ago from California and worked in the hospitality industry.

“I think everybody should be getting the shot,’’ Hoeb said. “It’s going to help end it (the pandemic) if everybody takes the shot and wears their masks and doesn’t get out with all the crowds. I think it will help end this, yes.’’

About the author

Erin Emery is editor of UCHealth Today, a hub for medical news, inspiring patient stories and tips for healthy living. Erin spent years as a reporter for The Denver Post, Colorado Springs Gazette and Colorado Springs Sun. She was part of a team of Denver Post reporters who won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting.

Erin joined UCHealth in 2008, and she is awed by the strength of patients and their stories.