Ohio native stuck here because she can’t get COVID-19 shot to return home to the Sunshine State

Updated: Feb. 4, 2021 at 9:52 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -“I’ve been a resident of Florida for 35 years. I used to live here in Ohio.”

Eugenia Seidel feels trapped in Northeast Ohio because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 73-year-old has been living here since last February.

“It started a year ago on Valentine’s Day.”

Right around then, the warnings started trickling in about COVID-19.

Once the pandemic was in full swing, Seidel wanted to go home back to Florida.

“When it was time for me to return at the end of March, I contacted my PCP (Primary Care Physician) because I wanted to confirm or get reassurance about how dangerous is it for me to travel because of my age.”

She has been staying with her sister in Seven Hills.

On Wednesday, her 72-year-old sister went to get a COVID 19 vaccination at a local pharmacy.

“She asked if her old sister could also get it. When they asked if I was a resident, I had to say no because I don’t have any ID from Ohio. I was told that I could not.”

The 73-year-old is in a pickle.

She desperately wants the vaccine to protect herself, but not being an Ohio resident is leaving her without many options. Seidel started calling around to see if she could get some help, but all she got was the runaround.

“The Ohio Department of Public health referred me to the Cuyahoga County Department of Health, and they referred me back to the Ohio Department of Health.”

So, Eugenia contacted 19 News. Unfortunately, we confirmed the news she didn’t want to hear.

Donna Skoda is the Summit County Public Health Commissioner.

“So, we technically aren’t even supposed to accept out of county residents for 1B.

Donna Skoda is the Summit County Public Health Commissioner. She says there isn’t any vaccine to spare. Summit County is expecting fewer than 300 does, but that she has 23-thousand people waiting. Here’s the deal.

“It doesn’t surprise me that she was turned away as a non-state resident just because of the availability.”

Her doctor said she would be willing to write a letter saying it was too risky for Eugenia to travel without being vaccinated.

Here’s a possible solution suggested by Donna Skoda.

“Many of the private physician’s offices, if they’re affiliated with an institution, hospitals as well have vaccine for 1B. She could try that route. So she’s caught between a rock and a hard place, it seems unless she wants to get on a plane and take her chances. Probably yeah.”

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