Spencer care facilities expected to start receiving COVID vaccines Tuesday
Monday, January 11, 2021
A long awaited day, COVID-19 vaccines are headed to Spencer long-term care facilities so residents and staff can have immunity from the novel coronavirus that has so far killed more than 300,000 Americans and caused many more deaths across the world. At Longhouse-Northshire facilities, the expectation is that the first vaccine doses will arrive on Jan. 12 and be administered the same day, facilitated through Walgreen’s. At St. Luke facilities, Jan. 14 is the expected date for their first vaccines.
“We’ve waited almost a year for this vaccine to get here and we strongly hope that this vaccine will really curtail some of the serious effects of the virus and can give us the right steps towards normalcy,” Longhouse-Northshire Administrator Tim Christy said. “What I mean by normalcy is visitation and togetherness and camaraderie and really being able socialize, communicate and enjoy on a personal sense rather than be 6 feet apart, or 6 miles apart.
He added, “The residents really look forward to receiving the vaccines because they’re looking forward to receiving that greater sense of normalcy. The families are really encouraged too with the thought the vaccine is here and given so they can get back to communicating closely and being able to have a real social life again. Residents and families are especially looking forward to that and of course health care workers really appreciate the vaccine too because we’re dealing with it on a day to day basis. Anything that can keep the virus away, we want to keep working in that direction. We’ve been really fortunate here. We really haven’t had residents with it.”
“We view this as a beginning to the end and a sign of hope for our residents, staff and their families,” said Greg Meeter, of St. Luke. “Walgreens will be supplying all the necessary equipment and supplies. We will follow their lead.”
After the residents and staff who have chosen to receive the vaccine get their first dose, the second and final doses will be administered three weeks later. Meeter did not comment on the expected number of residents and staff expected to receive the vaccine. Christy estimated participation at Longhouse-Northshire is currently expected to be approximately 150, saying the goal was for 100% vaccination if possible.
“The first shot will be followed by the second one — 21 days later — or probably the first part of February,” Christy said. “Some folks might start their series, with the shot in February, that means they will receive their second shot the end of February or the first of March.”