Nursing homes prepare for first round of COVID vaccinations Monday |

Nursing homes prepare for first round of COVID vaccinations Monday

Emily Putnam
Updated: December 21, 2020 01:00 PM
Created: December 20, 2020 11:30 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC)— Starting Monday morning, residents at The Jewish Home will be among the first nursing home residents in Monroe County to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. 

"The families are tired, the staff is tired, and this will be the start of hopefully us going back to normal," Jewish Home administrator and registered nurse Michele Schirano said. She is one of the employees who will be receiving the vaccine next week.

Vaccinations will be supplied by CVS pharmacy, as directed by the New York State Department of Health. The vaccine will be administered in two doses: the first will be Monday, Dec. 21 and Tuesday, Dec. 22. The second round will come in January 2021. 

"CVS confirmed that they received their vaccine,"  Schirano said. "They have about 800 shots for us, that they will be bringing to the Jewish Home, for our employees and our residents." 800 shots will cover all employees and residents at The Jewish Home. 

Residents will stay in their rooms while pharmacists travel from room to room to administer the vaccine. 

"They're gonna go in each resident's room, and they'll have their own PPE and they have to wear their PPE in that room," Schirano said . "And then they have to change their PPE and move on to the next resident room."

Employees will also receive the vaccine, starting with doctors, nurses, and Jewish Home staff members who have direct contact with residents.

For family members like Gina Santucci, this news is a sigh of relief. Santucci lives in New York City, and her mother lives at the Jewish Home in Rochester. For over a year, they've been relying on virtual video calls to connect. With this vaccine, there is hope that they won't have to wait another year before seeing each other in person again.  

"I mean I'm over the moon about it, I'm really, really excited,"  Santucci said. She is optimistic that this could eventually lead to a long-awaited in-person visit with her mother. "If I get vaccinated, she gets vaccinated, and I feel it's safe to travel, you know, take a plane and a rental car and hotel, yeah, I'll be on my way," she said. 

Once the vaccine is administered to nursing home residents, in-person visitation will not resume right away. The 'okay' for in-person visits still has to come from Governor Cuomo's office. 

But, as family members and administrators at the Jewish Home told News10NBC, this is a big step in the right direction. 

In his Monday briefing, Governor Cuomo says a Rochester nursing home resident was among the first in the state to get a vaccine.

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