Operation Warp Speed reaches Central Florida nursing homes

Walgreens vaccinated 100 residents and staff at Good Samaritan Society in Daytona Beach

Push to vaccinate residents at assisted living facilities
Push to vaccinate residents at assisted living facilities

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – The federal rollout to get vaccines into long-term care facilities has made its way in Central Florida.

News 6 was at the Good Samaritan Society skilled nursing home in Daytona Beach Thursday as a Central Florida pharmacist vaccinated nearly 100 residents and staff just before the new year.

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“I’m so excited,” said administrator Tabbitha Cook, “I’m excited about the fact that this is hope for us.”

Cook said of the 72 residents currently inside the skilled nursing home, 68 of them and their families consented to getting the vaccine.

This round of vaccines from Walgreens was Pfizer and they plan to be back next month to administer second doses. Cook said the shots come as a relief to her and her staff who feared for the last nines months for the lives of those at the highest risk, especially after losing one resident due to COVID-19 early on.

“We are family, so when you lose a family member it is hard on us,” she said. “But this right here, having the vaccine as part of the new life, hopefully, it will help us.”

It’s why Gerald Williams was one of the first staff members to roll up his sleeves at the nursing home Thursday.

“It’s been really challenging because you fear for the residents more than yourself,” Williams said. “They can’t fight it off as you can so you are double cautions about where you go, what you are doing, and who you are around.”

He not only got the vaccine on New Year’s Eve, but it was also his birthday.

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