Helping Those in Need Get COVID Vaccine: A Day in the Life of an MSW Intern

Ashley Liso is a first year MSW student.  Read her story about her efforts to get vaccines to the clients she is serving as part of her internship:

"I am doing my internship for Section 8/Public Housing. A majority of these residents  suffer from mental and physical disabilities so it is very difficult for them to get around. There are also a lot of seniors who do not drive and are homebound. While planning this, I hit almost every roadblock possibly trying to obtain vaccines for them. Many of these residents do not have phones, computers, nor a means of transportation. They were all having difficulty registering anywhere because of their circumstances. Therefore, I contacted my Senator, Assemblyman, Health Department, and practically everyone under the sun in hopes to get a vaccination site on premises. However, no one could help me. I knew I had to do something because the residents would come to the office on site begging me to help them get vaccinated. I knew I had to keep on exploring any and all avenues, otherwise these residents would not get vaccinated. I decided to look into mobile vaccination sites and I contacted over 10 agencies before I found this mobile health clinic that was willing to come to both of our sites and vaccinate the residents. They gave me a date and told me the residents will need to fill out registration forms. I hit the pavement delivering notices, making phone calls, knocking on doors and made sure that we hit our minimum. I would also need to make copies of everyone's ID's and documentation of a pre-existing condition if they were under 65. I helped each tenant fill out their registration forms and also helped retrieve documentation by calling doctor's offices and having them fax the letters to me. A lot of residents didn't have identification because they didn't drive and were elderly so I had to track down family members to send me some sort of photo ID. I dealt with language barriers, physical disabilities and whatever need became evident. I only had three days notice, so this was very difficult to do. I had to scan all of their forms, ID's, and documentation to the agency ahead of time. Once Friday arrived, I noticed that I didn't receive back about 25-30 forms so I had to go to each site and get it from their apartments to meet this deadline. It was very stress inducing, but it was certainly worth it.  I ended up registering over 100 people and they were all vaccinated on Sunday, March 14! I am so happy these residents were finally able to get vaccinated and the nurse is coming back on april 11th to administer their second dose of Monderna"!