CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago woman said she is hitting a wall of silence when it comes to finding out why her cousin – in a nursing home – is waiting for her second COVID-19 vaccination dose.
As CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reported Tuesday, the state is also aware – but there are no answers there either. So the woman turned to us.
“I’m really frustrated, because they sent me a letter saying, ‘You can come visit now,’” said Cheryl Bellamy-Bonner.
Bellamy-Bonner got that letter in May from Landmark Nursing Home in south suburban Richton Park. She thought it meant her 55-year-old cousin Alan Matthews, a resident there, was fully vaccinated.
Then, a few weeks later, Bellamy-Bonner got another letter – dated June 14 and addressed to her cousin – from the Illinois Department of Public Health. As financial power of attorney, she gets his mail.
Bellamy-Bonner was stunned to read, “Records indicate that you may be overdue for your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.”
“I don’t know if they dropped the ball or they’re just negligent,” Bellamy-Bonner said. “I don’t know if he’s the only patient, or one of many patients that haven’t gotten their second shot.
Bellamy-Bonner said she and her sister left messages and called Landmark more than half a dozen times, but no one called them back.
Kozlov talked to Matthews by phone. He said he got his first COVID shot two and a half months ago.
Kozlov: “At the time that it was given to you, what did they tell you about a second shot?”
Matthews: “That the second one was coming.
Matthews has not gotten any information since.
“You ask a nurse and they pass it along,” he said.
“I’m concerned because he’s high-risk – because he has a heart problem, because he has a trach, because he has diabetes,” Bellamy-Bonner said.
But she is also concerned about the form letter rom from the IDPH, which simply states Matthews should call or visit the website or clinic where he booked his first appointment to get a second one. Again, he is in a nursing home, and he relies solely on the staff to provide his care and safety.
Kozlov: “You really want your second shot?”
Matthews: “Yes ma’am, so I can be sure.”
An IDPH representative said someone would get back to Kozlov with answers to her questions – including how many letters like Matthews’ they have sent, whether they are tracking second doses, and what, if anything, the state is doing to make sure nursing home residents are getting their second shots.
No answers had been provided Tuesday night, and there also had been no response from Landmark Nursing Home.