by Caleb Revill
Bailey Park Community Living Center in Humboldt has been designated as a priority facility to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as an option for employees and residents, with plans to begin administering the vaccine on Monday, December 28.
The plan to offer priority vaccinations to staff and residents at long-term care facilities is part of the Tennessee Department of Health’s “Phase 1a1” for tackling distribution of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. As stated in this plan, long-term care facility staff and residents are to receive the Moderna vaccine through a federal partnership with pharmacies Walgreens and CVS.
This is big news for Bailey Park CLC Administrator Charlene Davis.
“I’m excited about it,” Davis said. “I’m happy to see that a vaccine is out there.”
Davis has been working as an interim administrator for Bailey Park for a couple of months now. Because of the increased danger that coronavirus poses to both healthcare workers and the elderly, the facility has been on lockdown for some time now. Visitors are asked to talk to their loved ones through their windows outside of the building. Any workers who enter or leave the building are required to take a COVID rapid test on site.
The new vaccines could be a game changer for healthcare workers. According to the FDA, the Moderna vaccine that is being distributed to long-term care facilities including Bailey Park had a 94.5-percent prevention rate.
Both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are administered in two separate shots. According to Davis, Walgreens will be sending employees to administer the vaccines to Bailey Park personnel and residents when they become available. The vaccines must be stored frozen -very frozen. Moderna is required to be stored at minus 20 degrees Celsius, relatively warmer than the Pfizer vaccine that requires a minus 70 degrees Celsius storage temperature.
The vaccine is not mandatory, but it is strongly encouraged that employees receive it according to a press release from Community Eldercare Services -Bailey Park CLC’s parent organization. Bailey Park staff have already started reaching out to residents’ families and legal guardians to prepare a list of volunteers for receiving the vaccination.
Davis said that there are worries from her fellow employees about getting the vaccine.
“People are nervous about it,” Davis said. “A lot of them are skeptical because of it being put through so quickly. They hear horror stories and they’re worried.”
Davis explained that roughly 20-percent of the staff at Bailey Park signed up to receive vaccines. While those numbers are low, she said that she did believe more of the residents will be signing up to receive the vaccine. Davis said that she will be getting the vaccine as well -she may even be the first in line at the facility to do so.