PLEASANT GARDEN, N.C. — Officials at Clapp’s Nursing Center in Pleasant Garden have administered the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine with the help of CVS Health.
Staff and more than 95% of residents at Clapp’s received the vaccine on Monday more than eight months since the start of the pandemic.
It gives Sherri Reed hope to soon walk into the nursing facility and hug her 78-year-old mother Linda Carter again.
“I hope the vaccine is the answer that they can open those doors and let us all in,” she said.
Carter was moved into the facility at the start of the pandemic. Restrictions stopped any in-person visits. She contracted the virus during one of the outbreaks.
“It was really emotionally hard not being able to be there and do anything for her,” Reed said. “When they called and told me mom had it, I had my first ever panic attack because there was nothing we could do.”
Carter recovered after two weeks, but Reed is still worried for her health. The vaccine gives her peace of mind.
“I jumped on it when they called to ask for my permission. I didn’t even hesitate,” she said.
Debbie Pace feels the same about her 91-year-old mother, Hazel Aydelette, getting the vaccine.
Aydelette also moved into the facility at the start of the pandemic. This year is the first time, Aydelette spent the holidays away from family.
“It’s been really tough, especially over the holidays,” Pace said. “We’re just so excited about them getting this first dose of the vaccine.”
Pace and her bother, Clint Aydelette, gave approval in the hopes they can celebrate the holidays in person next year.
“I try to think positive because I would rather her have a risk of a reaction than to not get it at all,” she said.
Both Reed and Pace were surprised at how fast the vaccine was distributed. A CVS pharmacist and two technicians administered the vaccine over the course of six hours.
“With the government, we’ve been able to manufacture these vaccines along with the clinical trials,” said CVS Pharmacist Jocelyn Shrum. “We didn’t have to wait for the clinical trial to be down before we started manufacturing, which is huge in terms of how quickly we were able to bring it out to the public.”
Shrum told FOX8 all CVS team members must test negative for the coronavirus before administering the vaccine. Staff monitored residents for 15 minutes to check for side effects.
In statement to FOX8, Danielle Hollowell, the administrator for Clapp’s, said, “It was a monumental day here at Clapp’s. We are ecstatic that the beginning of the end is finally here. Protecting our residents and staff is our first priority. And today, we came one step closer to that.”
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