CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio — Mathilda Kolt of Chagrin Falls has a strong opinion about the importance of Ohio seniors getting the COVID-19 vaccine in the coming weeks and months.
Kolt will turn 107-years-old on Feb. 10 and received the first dose of the vaccine on Jan. 16.
She lives at The Weils at Menorah Park Assisted Living Community and told News 5 the shot made her shoulders sore for a day but said the pain was well worth the gain.
“It hurt my other arm, very painful, the whole night,” Kolt said.
“That’s what my son said, better to have the pain than get the virus.”
“The vaccine, yes, I think everybody should get it if they have the opportunity.”
On Jan. 19, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Ohioans in phase 1B, ages 80 and above can now sign-up for the vaccine.
DeWine said that group is made up of 425-thousand Ohioans statewide.
Kolt said seniors 80 and above shouldn’t be afraid to get the shot and sign-up as soon as possible.
“Take it, I wouldn’t hesitate,” Kolt said. “That’s the way the pandemic will end.”
The Ohio Department of Health set-up a webpage, with the state vaccination schedule and portal to search out vaccine locations by county or zip code.
Kolt, who moved to Northeast Ohio with her family when she was just three months old in 1914, said the pandemic has prevented her from enjoying the activities that are keeping her vibrant.
“The hardest thing for me is to be in my room constantly,” Kolt said. “The pandemic is the worst thing to ever happen in my lifetime.”
Kolt credited the staff at The Weils for helping to keep her mind sharp and active, and said walking and exercise most of her life are some of the biggest factors for her longevity.
“I ordered French lessons, and I study them. I play bingo, for a quarter I get two cards,” Kolt said.
“I have a book club, I have art lessons.”
Kolt said she still does some of the workout routines she learned from News 5 exercise legend Paige Palmer in the 1950s, 60s, and early 70s.
“Paige Palmer was on Channel 5, I used to get on the floor with her,” Kolt said. “I ordered her exercise mat, she was just fantastic.”
Kolt said she has a huge amount of appreciation for front-line workers, doctors, and the scientists who created and are administering the vaccine.
“Oh my goodness, I couldn’t wait till I got that vaccine,” Kolt said.
“How would I say thank you to the doctors? If I had a chance I’d kiss them.”