Assisted living facilities begin receiving COVID vaccines, officials say it’s ’a wonderful early Christmas gift’

Assisted living facilities begin receiving COVID vaccines, officials say it’s ’a wonderful early Christmas gift’
175 doses of the vaccine were administered Wednesday. (Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Assisted living facilities at St. Bernards received 175 doses of the COVID vaccine Wednesday. Those at the St. Bernards Village, the St. Bernards Villa, the Benedictine Manor, among many others received the vaccine.

“They were thrilled,” Brian Rega, Director of Senior Housing Services, said. “I can’t tell you what a wonderful early Christmas gift this was for them.”

Rega says getting the vaccine was a long-time coming for those at the facilities.

“We had 10 months of waiting and 10 months of trying to keep everyone safe and patient and well,” he said. “They were elated and so we got everything together and we were able to administer the shots [Wednesday] morning.”

For those at the facility, Rega added that he’s both excited and relieved that the residents can receive additional armor in the fight against COVID-19.

“This is real and so this vaccine is really important to us and to our residents,” he said. “It’s another tool that we’ll be able to use to keep people safe.”

Even with the vaccine, Rega wants everyone to continue taking the necessary precautions to fight COVID-19.

“It doesn’t mean we’re going to throw the masks away and stop using the hand sanitizer and stop our social distancing,” Rega said. “This is just a tool that we add to what we are doing to keep our residents safe and everyone healthy.”

Rega says the next step after giving the second set of vaccines is potentially opening up the facilities for visitors.

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