BRIGHTON, N.Y. — Nursing homes are next on the list of those to receive the coronavirus vaccine. At Jewish Senior Life in Brighton, they’re prepared to start vaccinating elderly residents and staff beginning Monday.
“The residents all miss their families, said Dr. Maria Aydelotte, chief medical officer at Jewish Senior Life. “And the families all miss the residents."
That’s because during the pandemic, visitors are not allowed at the senior care facility — but the beginning of vaccinations could be the turning point.
“A lot of energy, a lot of hope and a lot of excitement,” said Dr. Aydelotte. “It could be a game-changer for us.”
Dr. Aydelotte discussed the anticipated arrival Monday of enough coronavirus vaccine to immunize all of the senior living facility’s 320 residents and 600 staffers. Clinics are scheduled on-site for Monday and Tuesday. A second round of doses will be delivered in January.
“We're tremendously excited about getting the vaccine,” she said. “It’s just indescribably good.”
COVID-19 has hit many senior living facilities hard. Dr. Aydelotte says Jewish Senior Life has been fortunate, with very few COVID-19 cases overall — and zero presently. The arrival of the vaccine, which is being administered to frontline medical workers in Rochester hospitals this week, couldn't come at a more critical time.
“We need the vaccine right now, and it is here in the nick of time,” she said. “As the cases rise in the community, we're very, very concerned about it getting into our facility.”
The hope is the vaccine’s arrival will also be a first step toward a return to normal, reuniting the most vulnerable folks with their families.
“It's a good feeling that we're being noticed,” she said. “And that these frail elderly folks are getting what they really deserve.”