Albany County rolling out vaccines to nursing homes

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The first nursing home resident in Albany County received the first dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Monday. Although visitors won’t be permitted to see their loved ones this holiday season, the vaccine may represent the glimmer of hope they’ve been waiting for.

“I feel it’s like an early Christmas present, to be quite honest with you,” said County Executive Dan McCoy. “I see the struggles on the face of those working at the nursing home and the families that can’t see their loved ones.”

But McCoy said those faces turned into smiles Monday morning. “The first shot I believe started at 9:30, 9:40 today,” he said. “The smiles on just not the residents’ faces, but the workers’. It’s been a long nine months.”

A woman who lives at Shaker Place gave two thumbs up after getting her first dose. Walgreens delivered 320 doses there, but not all of the shots were given out. There are currently 172 resident at the nursing home, and 150 of them agreed to get the vaccine

“The other 22, either have not, or they have health care proxies,” McCoy said. “And we have to get a hold of the people that can make that decision for them.”

Although 87% of residents agreed to vaccine, workers at Shaker were a different story. “Even for the workers—I was surprised—that work at a nursing home? I mean, we had over half say, ‘No.'”

Only 100 of the over 200 staff members agreed to get vaccinated. McCoy hopes that education will help those workers change their minds. “The sooner we get them vaccinated and the workers, hopefully that will slow our numbers down with people passing away from this.”

All Albany county nursing homes will receive deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine this week. And with the state’s approval, McCoy believes vaccinated residents should be able to see their loved ones in as little as six weeks

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