Thurston senior living community begins vaccine distribution

A Thurston long-term care facility has seen zero cases of COVID-19, and with the arrival of a vaccine to the facility Friday -- it might stay that way.

Posted: Jan 8, 2021 11:48 AM
Updated: Jan 11, 2021 12:59 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- A Thurston senior living community has seen zero cases of COVID-19, and with the arrival of a vaccine to the facility Friday -- it might stay that way.

Sweetbriar Villa Assisted Living on E Street held the first of three clinics to distribute the vaccine to residents and staff Friday.

According to Executive Director Brandy Harris, the facility has recorded no cases of coronavirus, despite the high-risk for outbreaks linked to those types of communities.

Harris said pharmaceutical company Consonus provided and prepared doses of the Pfizer vaccines for nurses to distribute. By the end of the day Friday, 38 people in the community were expected to get their first dose.

Health care workers, nursing home residents and caretakers are in Phase 1a of vaccine distribution.

Helen Schulz, a resident of Sweetbriar Villa, was among the first to get her shot.

“My expectations were it was going to hurt. I felt it just a little, but not much. It wasn’t bad at all,” Schulz said.

Schulz will get the second dose of her vaccine later in January. She said her time in lockdown has been difficult.

“It’s been kind of tough. I met a friend in here -- she likes to play cards -- and I do. We can’t because of the six feet,” Schulz said.

But Harris said life won’t be going back to normal immediately, even with a vaccine.

“I think there’s going to be a process. We still need to be cautious for ourselves and for our residents,” Harris said.

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