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COVID-19 vaccination continues at nursing homes, assisted living facilities

  • RiverMead staff Melissa McCutcheon, Jennifer Coles and Kim Mansfield pose next to a "I Got MY COVID-19 Vaccine" sign at the Peterborough facility following a second vaccination clinic on Tuesday, Jan. 12. Courtesy photo—

  • Scott-Farrar CEO/Executive Director Lara Shea gives the thumbs up after getting the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic on Monday, Jan. 11. Courtesy photo

  • The mother-daughter duo of Marcie Champagne and Callie Boisvert, both employees at Scott-Farrar, show off their bandaids following a COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Monday, Jan. 11. Courtesy photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/13/2021 5:57:26 PM

Monday was the day Lara Shea had been waiting for, as the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine finally made its way to Scott-Farrar.

Shea, CEO/Executive Director of Scott-Farrar, said the clinic went smoothly and even included an added bonus. The vaccine was only supposed to be available to those in assisted living at Scott-Farrar, but Shea explained in initial conversations how common areas are shared by all residents and with only 29 residents in independent living, she asked if the vaccine could be made available for everyone at the first clinic.

“I just asked if they would consider doing everybody,” Shea said. “We kind of held out breath and crossed our fingers for a couple days.”

Much to Shea’s appreciation, CVS was allowed to bring enough for every resident and staff member who chose to be vaccinated at the Peterborough facility on Monday.

“It was not quite a party, but the energy was just wonderful,” Shea said.

Between the assisted living and independent living residents, 66 residents receive their first dose on the Pfizer vaccine, equating to 91 percent of those living at Scott-Farrar. Of the 97 staff members, 62 participated in the clinic.

“It was about what we hoped for,” Shea said. “We had been talking to people and had a sense.”

Shea said those staff members and residents who did not get their first dose on Monday will be eligible to receive the shot at the second clinic on Feb. 1. A third clinic is scheduled on Feb. 22 for those who chose to get their first shot on Feb. 1.

Shea said they will continue to provide education to those who did not get vaccinated between now and the second clinic.

“We hope some more will,” Shea said. “But it was up to everyone to make that decision themselves.”

Since Scott-Farrar received the Pfizer vaccine that meant staff members under the age of 18 were eligible.

Shea said to date there have been no positive tests among residents and just four staff members.

She said it’s too early to know what will change operationally – weekly staff testing is scheduled at least through the end of January.

“But we know this is the first step,” Shea said.

To celebrate, Shea said they provided fun band-aids and chocolate lollipops from Ava Marie.

Friendship Manor

Friendship Manor Administrator Gary Cahoon said Tuesday that the New Ipswich facility is slated to have its first vaccination clinic on Thursday.

“It’s been a bit of a rough road, but we’re there,” Cahoon said.

Because of how Friendship Manor was classified in the system, it was first determined by CVS that the assisted living facility fit into Phase 2 of the vaccine rollout due to its classification as residential care, but it was cleared up and “it didn’t really postpone anything,” Cahoon said.

Another issue that cropped up this week was getting the required signatures from primary care physicians of residents, but Cahoon expected those to all be taken care of by Thursday’s clinic.

“There have been a lot of little bumps like that,” he said.

Cahoon said that all but one of Friendship Manor’s 19 residents agreed to get the vaccine, while 11 out of 16 staff members are also choosing to be vaccinated.

“From what I understand, our staff is typical,” Cahoon said of the percentage taking the vaccine.

Cahoon said he will be receiving his first dose on Thursday.

“I’m 72 and I’ve had a heart attack so I’m definitely in the vulnerable population,” he said.

Cahoon said it remains to be seen what the administration of the vaccine will mean in terms of protocols and safety measures.

“I hope that our residents will have a little bit more freedom,” he said.

A second clinic is scheduled for Friendship Manor on Feb. 4, followed by a third on Feb. 25.

RiverMead

CEO Bill James said the Peterborough facility held its second vaccination clinic on Tuesday for residents of its health center and employees who received their first Pfizer vaccine dose on Dec. 22.

James said “almost 100 percent” of the residents in the health center have now received the vaccine and with a little more than 60 employees getting their first shot on Tuesday, RiverMead is close to 70 percent of its staff participating, James said. The third clinic is scheduled for Feb. 2.

He said they will continue to educate staff and offer guidance in the hopes of more people deciding to get vaccinated.

“I’d love to see that number at 100 percent, but I know that’s not realistic,” James said.

James said they are still working with CVS to get a date for a clinic for those in the independently living areas. Those aged 75 and over are in Phase 1B and ages 65 to 74 are in Phase 2A.

“We have a good population of residents who fall into that category,” James said of Phase 2A. “But we’re hoping to get all our independent living residents into the same clinic.”

James called Tuesday’s second clinic “another great day,” filled with optimistic spirit and enthusiasm.

“It’s another step toward helping the broader community,” he said. “The more of us who take this step to do this, the sooner we’ll be able to look at things the way we did before March 2020.”

Summerhill

Mary Pat Jackson, executive director of Summerhill, said the assisted living facility in Peterborough is set to hold its first vaccination clinic on Jan. 22 with a follow up clinic on Feb. 12.

“We would have liked to have it sooner, but it’s out of our hands,” Jackson said.

Through conversations, Jackson has been encouraged by the number of residents, where there is a total of 64, at Summerhill and staff planning to receive the vaccine.

“I believe if it’s not 100 percent of our residents, it’s close. There may be one resident who will not,” Jackson said. “As far as our staff, it’s not 100 percent, but it’s very high. Some people are still deciding.” Jackson said there is around 80 employees at Summerhill.

Summerhill is still not allowing visitors and Jackson wasn’t sure what may change after the vaccination process is completed.

“We’re in full lockdown at  this point until we can get this under control,” she said.

Jackson said there has been positive COVID-19 cases among staff and residents, but not a large amount.

“Any number is too high,” Jackson said.

Pheasant Wood

Dr. Richard Feifer, Chief Medical Officer at Pheasant Wood, said in an email Wednesday that the Peterborough facility was hosting its second clinic that day, three weeks after the initial vaccination clinic on Dec. 23, adding there would be a third clinic on Feb. 3.

But, Feifer said, the number of staff and residents who had received the vaccine was not yet known.

“At this time, it is too early to quantify final acceptance rates as the second clinic has not yet concluded today,” he said.


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