COVID-19 vaccination process begins in Shenandoah Valley long-term care facilities

COVID-19 vaccination process begins in Shenandoah Valley long-term care facilities
A Bridgewater Retirement Community staff member receiving their COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 30. (Source: WHSV)

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - COVID-19 vaccines are rolling into retirement and long-term care facilities in the Shenandoah Valley and now hundreds of local residents and healthcare staff will be ringing in the New Year with their first dose of the vaccine.

Long-term care and alternate care facilities will be getting the COVID-19 vaccine through contracts with CVS and Walgreens.

Residents at the Bridgewater Retirement Community received their first dose on Wednesday. Spokesperson Jeremy Douylliez said they’ve partnered with CVS to vaccinate direct team members and residents in the nursing household.

“We expect [on Dec. 30] to vaccinate about 110 residents and around 90 team members,” Douylliez said. “The important thing there for context is that’s over 95% of our residents and it’s about 75% of our team members, which puts us right in the sweet spot for herd immunity.”

Douylliez said Bridgewater Retirement Community was excited to see staff and residents eager to get the vaccine, and in around three weeks, he said they will get the second dose.

“There will actually be three clinics,” Douylliez said. “The one [on Dec. 30], and roughly three weeks from now they’ll come back to do a second, and then three weeks from then they’ll come back to do a makeup clinic.”

Charlotte Sibold with Sunnyside Retirement Community said CVS will be coming this weekend on Jan. 2 and again on Jan. 23 to distribute the second dose.

Sunnyside staff and healthcare residents are eligible for the vaccine.

“We have 75 residents, I believe, in house today in healthcare, and all but one has accepted the vaccine, or signed up to get it. Right now, we have about 100 staff who have signed up,” Sibold said.

Meanwhile, Bekka Harsh with the Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community said they will have their first distribution event on Jan. 3, the second will be on Jan. 24.

“We do not yet have dates for subsequent clinics,” Harsh said via email. “Roughly 315 VMRC employees and 90 residents are eligible to participate in the first clinic.”

Spokespeople from these communities said they are eager to get vaccines to their other residents, like those living independently, who were not able to be included in the first round of distribution.

“We can’t include them in the first round. Not because we don’t want to, but because we can’t,” Sibold said. “As soon as we can get it for them I know they’ll be very happy.”

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