As the Washington County Public Health Department continues to plan for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine for when it becomes available, senior living complexes and nursing homes are securing the vaccine.
Both residents and staff members of these facilities throughout the county have been given the option to receive the vaccine thanks to partnerships with outside medical facilities.
Deputy director of public safety Tim Hardy was pleased to hear that the vaccine has been made available for those people. He encouraged all to reach out to their health care providers and pharmacies to inquire about the vaccine.
Some have the vaccine available already.
“That’s absolutely wonderful that they’re able to get the vaccine,” Hardy said.
National Church Residences owns Skenesborough Harbor in Whitehall and Mountainview Commons in Granville. Janice Slichko, property manager for both residences, said that they were able to partner with CVS to get their residents and staff access to the vaccine.
Both properties got the first dose of the vaccine on Jan. 17, and they are scheduled to get their second dose on Feb. 7.
“I’m excited, relieved. I’m anxious,” Slichko said. “Everybody’s not sure what to think of the vaccine but knowing we can protect the seniors we have living in our buildings is really a big step for us.”
Skenesborough Harbor has 41 residents and four staff members; 38 of those 45 are opting to be vaccinated. There are 42 residents at Mountainview Commons, and 37 of them are opting to receive the vaccine.
Slichko stated that if a resident or staff member isn’t able to get the vaccine or changes their mind and would like the vaccine after the first date, they are able to receive their first dose on the second date.
Debbie Pauquette was happy to say that 24 residents and 14 staff members at the Holbrook Adult Home at 73 North St. in Granville have received their first of two dosages of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We had 38 people between staff and residents receive their first dose last Friday (Jan. 8),” Pauquette said. “100% of our residents accepted the vaccine
. . . 90% of employees accepted the vaccine.”
Pauquette anticipates the second dosages of the vaccine to occur in the first week of February.
“We completed the first step,” Paquette said. “Immunity will not be completed until two weeks after the second dose.”
Pauquette made it clear that just because a small sample size had fulfilled step one in this process, health protocols of washing hands and wearing face masks as well as practicing social distancing are still crucial.
It’s very scary right now, it’s in our community,” Pauquette said. “Just because we have our first doses doesn’t mean we can put our guard down . . . we have to maintain our vigilance.”
Janice Doughman, the administrator for the Slate Valley Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing on Route 40 in Granville said her facility was one of the last in the area to receive the vaccine for 74 residents and 50 staff members.
“It went very smoothly,” Doughman said.
Doughman said the process was very quick, in which the people giving the vaccine were in and out of the Slate Valley Center in about six hours.
The second clinic is scheduled for Feb. 3, with recipients getting their second dosages then or their first if they missed out on the first clinic on Jan. 13.
According to Jeffrey Jacomowitz, Director of Corporate Communications for Centers Health Care, The Granville Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing on Madison Street received vaccines for 73% of residents, consented through family members, and for 33 staff members on Jan. 7.
“It has been a national trend that a good number of staff workers want to wait for the next time the pharmacist returns to give others their second dose. Granville Center leadership does highly suggest that staff get vaccinated,” Jacomowitz said. “No major adverse reactions came from the Jan. 7 vaccine day at Granville Center.”