73-year-old ‘Polio Pioneer’ among the first people to receive COVID-19 vaccine

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Irene Mente, one of the first people to be vaccinated for Polio has become one of the first people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

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WHITESTONE, Queens — One of the first people to be vaccinated for Polio has become one of the first people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Irene Mentel, a 73-year-old resident at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing in Whitestone, Queens, was deemed a “Polio Pioneer,” receiving the Polio vaccine at age 6.

Mentel said she hopes for a better future and cannot wait to hug her daughter.

When asked to write down who she was getting vaccinated for, Mentel wrote her grandson’s name, Matthew, who also lives in Queens.

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