Relief for some as vaccines begin rollout at local long-term care facilities

Monday brought a tremendous sense of relief to those who have loved ones in long-term senior care facilities.

Family members say this is essential, as the senior population continues to be impacted daily by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“To prevent disease, it comes down to sanitation and immunizations and we have that opportunity today,” said Dr. Christopher Koman, Vincentian Home’s medical director.

He was one of the first frontline workers at the McCandless facility to get the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.

He will soon be joined by hundreds of senior residents and staff who will be on the receiving end of the Pfizer vaccine administered by CVS Omnicare.

“We have been as everyone knows very impacted by COVID. Not just us, but the community as well And we feel this could be that light at the end of the tunnel,” Koman said.

The facility is part of Vincentian’s multiple area senior living communities.

The other neighboring sites are scheduled to receive the vaccine in the coming days.

Dr. Koman says the staff has worked tirelessly to protect the residents who have remained isolated for months.

He said without hesitation, this is a step in the right direction.

“I feel the benefits greatly outweigh any of the downsides,” Koman said.

Medical experts say the shot is not mandatory, but they feel it’s a great defense mechanism in the ongoing fight.

Koman said it’s been well received and he’s eager to shift back to a sense of normalcy in the months ahead.

“If we have anything that we can use to help improve our situation, we are eager to do it,” Koman said.

The second dose will be given out sometime in January