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Iowa Holocaust survivor hopes COVID-19 vaccine will help her survive pandemic

Kitty Williams, a 96-year-old Iowan, survived the Holocaust nearly 80 years ago. Now, she is hoping the COVID-19 vaccine will help her survive the pandemic.

IOWA, USA — A 96-year-old Iowa cancer patient survived the Holocaust nearly 80 years ago. Now, she is hoping the COVID-19 vaccine will help her survive the pandemic.

Kitty Williams really is a survivor. She made it through the Holocaust and is determined to live through the pandemic to get back to telling her story at local schools.

"I am hoping that I will have a little more time to be able to do that again," Williams said. 

She was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that affects plasma cells, in February 2021.

"My doctor said it would be nice if you could get your vaccine," Williams said.

Her niece, Judy Stone, said it was a struggle to make any appointments in Pottawattamie County.

"I called every pharmacy that's listed there, and they all said we don't have a vaccine," Stone said.

Williams said she is thankful her family was able to help her search but she feels bad for people like her who don't have computers to register online.

"It's almost impossible unless you have somebody to help you get it," she said.

The search for her shots was not looking good until the county announced COVID-19 clinics for older Iowans.

Williams was able to secure a spot Friday. 

"I am very excited," she said.

Once she is completely vaccinated, Williams said she looks forward to seeing her family again, starting treatment and educating future generations about her time at Auschwitz.

"I would like to be able to get out again and get back to normal, see the children, and be able to get my message through to them," Williams said.

More than 44 million Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.