Amherst senior fighting to get vaccination while stuck at home


(WIVB) – With a return to normal within sight, Erie County officials are pulling out all the stops to get people vaccinated- even making home visits.

The program is called “Vax Visit.”

An Amherst man has been trying to get his shot, but after waiting long enough, he called Call 4 Action.

One of the two local approved healthcare agencies is supposed to call back and set up an appointment- but that somehow was not working out for Paul Klonowski.

Klonowski has been homebound for years. A glandular disorder and heart condition have caused his legs and feet to swell to where he can barely stand- but Paul is concerned about getting his COVID-19 shots.

“This is important to me because I would like to stay alive, and I would like to see people that can come in here,” said Klonowski.

Among the VIP’s on Paul’s guest list are his children and grandchildren, who have had to keep their distance due to the pandemic.

He has a daughter and son-in-law and grandchildren down in Florida who are going to be coming up in August.

“I would love to see them,” Klonowski said. “They usually stay in our houses but they can’t do it right now, even though they are vaccinated, they can’t do it because I have not been vaccinated.”

Klonowski and his wife Laurie have been calling the county health department to schedule his vaccination.

I keep getting people telling me, ‘you are on the list, we are going to be over, somebody is going to be there’,” Klonowski said. “But nobody comes, and it is just like you are forgotten.”

“He is the love of my life,” Laurie said of Klonowski. “I hate to see him suffer and he has had a lot of suffering through all this.”

A spokesperson for the Erie County Health Department told News 4 that when someone calls about the “Vax Visit” program, their call center takes their name, address and phone number.

The information is provided to one of the two local nursing agencies approved by the county that then calls the individual to schedule their appointment.

Callers who are homebound or home-limited people are prioritized.

Klonowski told us that he actually gets regular visits from one of those agencies for his medical condition.

“One of the nurses even said, I have been giving out shots,” Klonowski said. “I said, but you did not bring one, and she said no. They came over for like three weeks – three times a week – and nobody brought a shot.”

As of Tuesday evening, Laurie Klonowski said that after one more call to the health department, Klonowski has an appointment to get his vax visit shot first thing Wednesday morning.

If you need to get your covid vaccination and are homebound, the number to call is (716) 858-2929.

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