DETROIT (WXYZ) — Today Senior Saturdays launched in Detroit. The first of a 4-week effort to vaccinate residents over the age of 65 by making the appointments more accessible. The number to call for an appointment is 313-230-0505.
Second Ebeneezer church on Dequindre hosted 500 seniors this afternoon. Another 500 seniors were scheduled on the city’s west side at Fellowship Chapel.
“The doors of the church are open come on and get it,” says Reverend Wendell Anthony.
While most wouldn’t call the Fellowship Chapel vaccination clinic a spiritual experience, for Detroiters over 65 getting their first shot feels like a miracle.
“I tried that last week and I couldn’t get a ride,” says Curtis Duncan.
One of the reasons the city partnered with 2nd Ebenezer and Fellowship Chapel was to ensure residents like Duncan had access to the potentially life-saving shots administered by Detroit Medical Center staff and volunteers.
Valinda Singleton wasn’t planning to get a vaccine, but her granddaughter had been calling her and telling her to schedule an appointment for a while.
“I thought maybe it would make me sicker. And after I saw everybody else taking it, I thought I better get my butt up and get it done,” says Singleton.
Seeing the Mayor and Reverend Wendell Anthony take the vaccine gave her peace of mind.
Reverend Anthony says the horrific history of systemic racism, like the Tuskegee experiment which happened in the ’70s, still haunts some older African Americans.
He emphasizes that not only is this a very different situation and that African American doctors and researchers have been involved from the very beginning of research and development to the implementation now.
Receiving the first vaccine dose brings those over 65 a sense of safety and one step closer to returning to normalcy.
For Duncan, it means he can finally return to work.
A reminder you do need to call 313-230-0505 to book an appointment for Senior Saturdays.
Eligible Detroit residents can also call 313-230-0505 to book appointments at the TCF Center and request a 2 dollar ride to the TCF Center drive-thru vaccination clinic.