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Oct. 21, 2021 | Thursday
Local News
American living in Niagara gets vaccine, thanks to response to Lake Report letter
Ralph Dangelmaier. (Richard Harley photo)

Ralph Dangelmaier was feeling left out, unable to get a vaccine when he tried to book one.

The American citizen, a former navy fighter pilot, is over 80 and was desperately looking for a vaccine. But despite living in Niagara-on-the-Lake with his Canadian wife Donna, he couldn't get anything booked.

So, he turned to The Lake Report last week in the form of a letter to express his disappointment.

Thanks to that letter, and the response from Lord Mayor Betty Disero and public health officials, he was able to receive his vaccine March 29 at the Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment Centre in St. Catharines.

Dangelmaier said he's feeling extremely grateful that it all worked out.

"(The Lake Report) started this whole thing, which made it successful to get the PR that I really needed to get this thing accomplished. So, I thank you so much for that," Dangelmaier said in an interview.

The vaccination process "was very, very perfect. Everything was very efficient. There were a lot of old people that are like me and I showed up with my walker," he said.

He is grateful to have his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and feels a sense of relief that he's now at least partly protected against COVID-19.

"The doctor who administered it, she was just wonderful," he said. "The whole (process) was just really well done."

Now, he said he feels safer about travelling back to Florida, where he says he has seven doctor's appointments to catch up on.

He and Donna typically spend their winters in Florida and summers in NOTL.

Dangelmaier said he wanted to thank everyone involved, including Michelle Johnston, community safety project manager for Niagara Region, Coun. Wendy Cheropita, pharmacist Sean Simpson, Niagara's top doctor Mustafa Hirji and Disero.

"I have to give them points," he said.

He also thanked the paper and another letter writer who sympathized with his struggle.

"The fact that you even published it was the whole reason for coming about," he said.

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