Booster shots for the most vulnerable

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 4:50 PM EDT
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WINDSOR, Vt. (WCAX) - Public health officials continue to encourage adults to get their COVID booster shot, especially, those who are over 65. Our Adam Sullivan visited a long-term care facility that hosted a clinic Tuesday to do just that.

Tuesday was a big day for residents at Cedar Hill in Windsor. “I’ve been to like three stores in one and a half years,” said Juanita Davis. The 87-year-old was one of dozens of assisted living residents to get a 3rd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. “I’ve been waiting for it anxiously because my shots before -- the Pfizer shots -- were in January. The last one was January 28th.”

A little over a month ago, Cedar Hill was still in the throes of an outbreak at its nursing home facility. Four residents in that buildings did not survive. “We were very distraught at the loss of some of our residents. So, that was a really, really dark time for us,” said Patricia Horn, the facility’s executive director.

But the booster clinic, which was staffed by Walgreens employees, provided a shot in the arm and a renewed sense of hope. One of the people getting the shot was the facility’s principle owner, Mary Louise Sayles. Health care officials acknowledge that challenges lie ahead.

“We were testing every single one of our staff, everyone who went in our building every day. We’ve had to stop that because there is a shortage of those tests,” Horn said.

“We suffer with the same resource issues that everyone in this community and in this region suffer with,” said Sarah Goff, the nursing director for assisted living. By now, she’s used to working short on staffing to keep the residents safe. “We’ve hoped with each vaccination at it gives us a little bit of normal that we used to know.”

As for Mrs. Davis, another trip to the store could be in the near future. “You feel a little safer as far as going out,” Davis said.

In all, more than 100 residents and staff were scheduled to get their shot Tuesday. It’s added security for the most vulnerable as they embark on the next phase of the pandemic.

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