84 years old, delighted to be eligible for the vaccine

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At 84, Bernie Brandall has lived almost every day of her life to the fullest.
“The big picture is me when I was 18 and I was a professional flamenco dancer,” he says. “That’s how I started my dancing career. ”

Brandall came to the United States from Cuba with his family in the late 1940s, but embarked on his own as a teenager, embarking on what would become a 60-year career as a dancer and artist.

He has traveled the world, first as a member of a dance troupe, then adding a routine of female imitation and magic to his “act”.

“We travel across Canada from coast to coast, to Vancouver, to Montreal,” he said. “I played all over Venezuela and Costa Rica. ”

Even after his retirement, Brandall is not a wallflower. He tries to stay active and he enjoys socializing. Over the years, he has made a number of friends at his local seniors’ center, which has not been opened since the start of the pandemic. Since he is the only living member of his immediate family, things turned lonely as New Yorkers were ordered to stay home.

“I have friends who panic and they get mad, and I’m a positive person, so I don’t let things get to me,” he says.

Brandall is now hoping he can start doing the things he loves again once he receives the coronavirus vaccine. On Friday, he was added to the list of New Yorkers who qualify for it.

“I think it’s a good thing,” he said. “It’s a hope for life. ”

Adults over 75 are now among those eligible to be vaccinated after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday that the vaccination process was moving forward.

Organizations working with older New Yorkers say they are working on ways to help those they serve – get vaccinated

The City Department for Aging works with the city’s vaccine ordering center to communicate with its customers with information on how to get vaccinated. A spokesperson said the effort will begin next week with an automated call that will be sent to seniors in the five boroughs.

Selfhelp Community Services will do the same. A spokesperson told NY1: “Selfhelp will continue to work with its customers to help them make vaccine decisions and provide planning assistance as needed.”

While those who are now eligible to be vaccinated will not be able to sign up for an appointment until Monday, vaccination centers will begin to open throughout the city over the weekend, allowing people who are able to get the vaccine to choose where to get it. . Hopefully they can bring it closer to home.

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