CBS4's Karli Barnett shares how Best Buddies is trying to make it as pain free as possible for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities to get vaccinated.
- And we're turning back to the Coronavirus Pandemic, now. As more people are getting vaccinated, those with the group Best Buddies are doing their part to make sure everyone has access to the shot. Now, overwhelming crowds, too much commotion, can create a difficult experience for those with disabilities. The group is helping make this process more comfortable, more accessible. CBS4's Karli Barnett has more.
KARLI BARNETT: To make the vaccine process as pain free as possible, the group Best Buddies is helping out.
MARIA KNIGHT: They have been very helpful in providing this service for kids that have anxiety to get vaccinated among all these people.
KARLI BARNETT: Maria Knight is with her son, James.
MARIA KNIGHT: Through the last year he has been cooped up at home, and now this gives him more sense of normalcy. And it's important.
KARLI BARNETT: Starting Saturday at Bucky Dent Stadium in Hialeah, those with intellectual and developmental disabilities can now get their vaccine in an environment that best suits their needs.
- They're walked through a slightly different process. We are able to identify what it is that they need, and proceed accordingly so that they have a good experience while they're getting vaccinated.
KARLI BARNETT: And James was among the first.
JAMES: I'm not scared. I'm fine.
KARLI BARNETT: No line as they were able to walk right in, register, and sit down for the vaccine.
- How was that, James?
KARLI BARNETT: He says he's most looking forward to playing with his friends again. Best Buddy says, even though they were able to launch digital programs for their members, it's still been a challenge to keep everyone connected, especially for those with disabilities.
- This has been a year where, and specifically for people with IDD, the difficulties have been in being isolated, further isolated. They already encounter isolation, a lot of them, in their everyday lives if they're not in programs like ours.
KARLI BARNETT: That's why they hope this can make a big difference in giving everyone a little peace of mind, and closer to getting back together. Karli Barnett, CBS4 This Morning.
- What a great organization. Locations, by the way, are Bucky Dent Stadium in Hialeah and Broward College North Campus in Coconut Creek. Best Buddy staff members will be there Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9:00 in the morning to noon. And then again on Wednesdays, 1 to 5. For more on this you can always go to bestbuddies.org.