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WAGRO provides local seniors access to vaccine

Noel Pai-Young | Lynnwood Times

Lynnwood, Wash., March 8, 2021WAGRO Foundation President Daniela Altamirano-Crosby as well as her mother, City Councilmember Julieta Altamirano-Crosby, lead efforts to help seniors get vaccinated.

The organization partnered with Lynnwood Food Bank (LFB) volunteer Paula Lapham who design a new carpooling model that organized appointment sign ups and drivers for the residents of Kingsbury Homes retirement community to get vaccinated.

Lapham is a seven-year volunteer and plays a role in addressing senior food shortages through food deliveries. After inquiring why some LFB volunteers stopped coming in, Lapham sprang into action and turned to her co-volunteer, Julieta, to devise a solution.

“We made health a priority,” said Daniela, when addressing the foundation’s focus. “Health is just imperative right now especially with the diverse population and seniors who are affected by this.”

(L-R) Julieta Altamirano-Crosby, Paula Lapham, and Daniela Altamirano-Crosby. Source: Noel Pai-Young, Lynnwood Times.

The three spearheaded efforts to assist the residents struggling to sign up or find transportation.

“They were on computers and I was on the phone,” said Lapham when describing the collaboration between the Altamirano-Crosbys and herself. “Their fingers fly like magic.”

Edward Ragsdale, one of the drivers, shared, “I wanted to make it easy for seniors older than I am,” when asked why he volunteered.

Ragsdale, who works in maintenance for the parks department, said he would also be getting the vaccine.

“I’m quarantining pretty strictly… I managed not getting it [C OVID-19] so far so I’m glad I can go get the shot for the boost,” stated Ragsdale.

Virginia Owen told the Lynnwood Times she had mixed feelings on the vaccine but is pleased that it was “a one-shot deal.” The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires a single dose.

“I’m concerned with the long-term effects… I’d feel better if there was more testing on it.”

The group of about 30 headed to the Snohomish County Vaccine Taskforce site located at the Arlington Airport. 

“They wouldn’t let anyone out of their cars. Very strict. Lot of cops,” stated Lapham, recalling her experience of the site to the Lynnwood Times.

Julieta shared that they are willing to do more similar arrangements to help those wanting vaccines as this was a first of its kind for WAGRO.

If you or anyone need help finding access to vaccines, call WAGRO at 206-657-6211 or email  wagrofoundation@gmail.com.

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