A nurse from a suburban Seattle nursing home who was suffering from the first American cohort of coronovirus cases sat at a pharmacist on Monday, drew her blue shirtlessV and received the first dose of the Kovid-19 vaccine administered at the facility.
It was the beginning that residents, families and employees hoped would be a turning point in an epidemic that has killed tens of thousands of people in long-term care facilities. Vaccination teams from Walgreens and CVS were fanning for facilities across the country on Monday, the beginning of a long, arduous campaign to vaccinate some of the country’s most vulnerable people.
In a facility near Seattle, Kirkland’s Life Care Center, which has been linked to 46 coronovirus deaths, received a text message Monday morning to relatives of residents stating that vaccination was beginning.
Coleen Mallory was waiting for this moment. Her mother has severe dementia, and since Life Care was discontinued last winter, they stood outside her window, waving and “I love you.”
Ms. Mallory’s family gave her mother permission for life care to vaccinate her, and Ms. Mallory said she was calling, curious to find out if that had actually happened. “I can’t get anyone,” he said. “It would be nice to know.”
Alice Cortez, the first nurse to have the facility vaccinated, said she had “a new life, a new beginning, but a better life,” the Seattle Times reported. With the rolling of the camera, he was also injected and cheered outside.
The scene was completely different from last winter, when the quiet, shaded nursing home became a scene of serious death and was updated daily about deaths and case counts. Journalists peeped outside the closed facility as ambulances in the hospital passed through the windows to check on residents and parents and grandparents.
Life care officials did not immediately respond to inquiries about how many staff members and residents were vaccinated on Monday, or how long it would take to vaccinate them all.