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COVID vaccine tourism is now a thing
They finally got their shot.
An 89-year-old Manhattan woman who made a heartbreaking public plea to Mayor Bill de Blasio last week to get the COVID-19 vaccine, got jabbed Friday along with her husband.
“Thank God for that. We got the first shot,” a relieved Anthea Lingeman told The Post after receiving the first dose of Pfizer’s two-dose vaccine alongside her 90-year-old husband Richard at the state-run mega vaccination site at the Jacob Javits Center.
The married couple of more than 50 years initially had appointments scheduled to get inoculated on Feb. 26 at Mount Sinai Hospital, but when they found out Thursday that the hospital had to cancel appointments due to limited vaccine supply, they grew fearful about the fate of their own appointments.
That prompted the couple to leave their Upper West Side apartment early Friday morning and hop in a yellow taxi to the Javits Center with the hope of getting jabbed, despite not having an appointment.
“I’m so glad we did. We came on the off chance,” said Anthea. “We came just hoping that we might get it.”
And the couple was in luck.
“The National Guard people were incredible. They kind of took us immediately and led us to a line which seems to be all old people, you know, especially needy older people,” the near-nonagenarian said chuckling.
Staffers at the convention center asked the Lingeman’s whether or not they had an appointment, and “we said no and they just let us stay there,” Anthea recalled. “They didn’t seem to mind.”
The Lingeman’s were then registered to be vaccinated at the site where the state says vaccines are by appointment only.
“We were very, very lucky,” said Anthea, who described the vaccination process as “incredible” and “no problem at all.”
“Actually, I noticed a tiny bit of itch in [my arm] but that’s all,” the legally blind senior said.
Richard called it a “painless procedure.”
The couple’s appointments for their second dose is on Feb. 5 and they are prepared to remain cautious.
“We still got to be extremely careful — masks and hands [sanitizer] and everything, definitely,” Anthea said.
Last Friday, just hours before the state expanded vaccination eligibility for the coronavirus to include the elderly, Anthea called into WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” during the mayor’s weekly appearance.
“I’m 89. My husband is 90. We live on our own and we need to be vaccinated. I want to know how,” Anthea said on the air.
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