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Community volunteer group helps elderly get access to vaccinations

Posted at 5:26 PM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 17:27:34-05

BALTIMORE — We've heard the stories of how difficult it can be to get a COVID-19 vaccination. One Jewish community group is helping make the process easier by making direct connections and helping fill missed or canceled appointments.

When WMAR-2 News first met Dena Pollak she was exiting the Baltimore City Convention Center. In her hand was a piece of paper filled with names.

"This is my list of people who I’m working on today to get in that can be here within a half hour if I can get them a shot somewhere," she said.

Every day the mother of three is busy answering phone calls, texts, and other messages from people who have had difficulty scheduling appointments.

"There's got to be a better way than what's currently in place," said Pollak. "So many people want the vaccine, but many are having trouble navigating the system."

One man, who Dena helped get a vaccine spoke on condition of anonymity.

"I've tried all of the hospital sites," he said. "I've tried the state's sites. I've tried going a little further out of the community. I ended up going all over the place and somebody told me about this organization."

The man said within two days he was able to get an appointment and his first vaccination.

"They're angels, angels, angels. That's all I can say," he said.

Dena is a volunteer with Bikur Cholim of Baltimore.

According to the organization's website Bikur Cholim of Baltimore has been provides support services to individuals and families from the Baltimore community, as well as people coming from all over the world to Baltimore to receive medical care from our world-class medical institutions.

"I just go to various vaccination sites and network," said Pollak.

Pollak has a list of people that she says are on her waiting list. So far, she and the organization have helped 40 people receive vaccinations.

"I definitely don’t advocate for skipping lines or working outside the system," she said. "I’m really just do my part to find those appointments to fall through the cracks or the people that are falling through the cracks on and to try to make sure that somebody is fighting for them when they can’t fight for themselves."

For more information on Bikur Cholim of Baltimore click here.