While it’s been a challenging journey navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, the ticket towards normalcy is finally here with abundant vaccine clinics underway across the country! As of February 10, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about 45 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered so far in the United States. And, from 12/18/20 to 1/17/21, 90.3% of skilled nursing facilities have held at least one on-site vaccine clinic resulting in a total of 713,909 residents and 582,104 staff members receiving at least one dose.
Older American adults are enthusiastic about receiving the vaccine. According to the Monmouth University Polling Institute, 67% of Americans aged 65 and older want to get it as soon as it is available, and they can get the appointment.
The vaccine is great news for today’s families who are navigating a changed landscape and focused on the health, safety, and well-being of their most vulnerable members when considering senior living options. The administering of the vaccine demonstrates Meridian Senior Living’s ongoing commitment to providing a safe environment for residents and staff members. Meridian communities are safer than ever!
Residents and staff members of long-term facilities have priority status to access the vaccine. Now it’s a great time to move into senior living to benefit from the medical, mental, physical, nutritional, and psychosocial support that communal living provides.
“The administering of the vaccine is an addition of our enduring commitment and dedication to keep our communities as safe as possible, while reducing the risk of apprehension that results from long intervals of isolation, both with our residents and seniors in the localities in which we operate,” said Kacy Kang, President and Chief Operating Officer of Meridian Senior Living.
The great news is that the vast majority of Meridian communities have successfully completed their first COVID-19 vaccine clinic and are taking a giant step towards normalcy. Through the U.S. Government’s Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, Meridian partnered with CVS, Walgreens, and local pharmacies to distribute and administer the COVID-19 vaccine to its residents and staff members.
Rolling up our sleeves for the vaccine is just one great tool in our arsenal in fighting COVID-19. Meridian’s communities will continue to implement safety best practices, policies, and procedures including strict infection protocols, staff training and education, testing, and adhering to relevant guidelines established by government health authorities.
As more residents and staff members are vaccinated, communities are looking at the light at the end of the tunnel towards being able to reunite with and hug their loved ones again. The greatest significance of the vaccine clinic rollouts is the expressions of relief and hope made by residents and staff members. Residents and staff alike are thrilled to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
"Today I think you can tell by the excitement in the room they feel like they're finally being able to do something to fight back it's a very special day and it gives us hope that in 2021 we can get back to normal and start living the fun life they get to live here. Their families can come and go. It's a day to celebrate," said Sherry Smith, Meridian Senior Living Regional Director of Sales and Marketing.
“You’re not only just helping yourself but you’re helping your neighbors and you’re helping your family by doing it,” said Maryls, a resident at Villas at Holly Brook Herrin in Herrin, IL.
“They are just super excited they have missed their family members and we are hoping that this will put a light at the end of the tunnel so that we can start allowing some visitors to come in,” says Chris DeFrieze, Executive Director at Brookstone of Aledo in Aledo, IL.
"I was really happy about that. I was really looking forward to getting this vaccination,” stated George, a resident at Lake Morton Plaza in Lakeland, FL. "Anything that would help me from getting it would be great."
“I feel safer, certainly, hoping to be able to see more of my family a little later,” said James, a resident at Renaissance Retirement Center in Sanford, FL.
“We're so relieved and so excited. I think this is the first step in the right direction for our community to be able to reopen and just give our residents a more normalized life,” said Heather Lombardini, Community Relations Director at The Reserve at East Long Meadow in East Long Meadow, MA.
"I wanted to get the shot for me, I wanted to get the shot for my family, and I wanted to get the shot for my community," said Ana, a resident at Villas of Holly Brook Marshall in Marshall, IL.