As many across the nation wait their turns to get vaccinated for the Covid virus, some 50 residents and employees at Jackson Oaks Senior Living center were vaccinated Jan. 14 by CVS Pharmacy.
“This is our first step back to a somewhat normal life,” said Karlie Behlmann, executive director of the facility. “We are very excited and blessed to have this clinic. This is a big deal for us. This is going to affect the lives of our residents and their families and hopefully get us back to a point where we don’t have to isolate anymore, and we can go back to hugging each other. That’s our goal.”
Behlmann said the pandemic has been a very emotional and sad time for them, but the clinic has given them hope and a since of relief.
Naomi Carlson a Jackson Oaks resident was the first lady in line to receive her vaccine during the clinic.
“I didn’t even feel the shot,” said Carlson. “I’m hoping this whole thing will be over soon, so we don’t have to be confined to our rooms.”
The vaccine given was developed by Pfizer and its partner, BioNTech which according to the CDC have shown to have a 95% efficacy at preventing both mild and severe symptoms of COVID-19.
Each resident at Jackson Oaks Senior Living received a vaccination record card that indicates the date the first dose was administered and which vaccine they received. The second round of vaccines the facility is scheduled for Thursday, February 4.
“Our participation rate has been phenomenal,” said Melissa Mullin, sales and marketing director. “Everyone is so excited to be able to have an opportunity to get this vaccination. This is so important for our residents to get back to their normal life and be able to get out and have family events and parties again. This has been a scary time, but we are one step closer to making sure our residents have a safe environment where we can enjoy each other’s company again.”
In the meantime, the assisted living center has been implementing its “White Glove Program” which oversees a strict sanitizing schedule and enforces social distancing practices at its facility. Mullin described the care center as “living inside of a bubble,” as individuals isolate.
At this time, visitation is off limits, but residents are welcome to go out with their family members as long as they adhere to social distancing guidelines and wear their mask. The center has also provided its residents with iPads to communicate and host video chats with their loved ones.