Dear Editor,

I have heard so many comments as to the problems with the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, I would like to comment about what is going well.  As the Administrator of the Edgewood Centre, every day we live in absolute fear that the virus will enter our building.  We read the literature, participate in the public health calls, compare notes with colleagues and see the complete devastation that has happened within nursing homes throughout our state.  In order to keep our residents safe, we have needed to enact the strictest forms of infection control.  Other than a few months this summer when we were able to host individual outside, socially distanced, masked and supervised visitation, our residents have not been in the same space as their loved ones in nearly a year.  Residents who were used to seeing their loved ones daily, some married for over 60-years and never separated, have not been able to see each other face to face, let alone hold hands.

So on Monday when a small army from Walgreens pharmacy arrived at our facility to administer the life-saving – or rather life-preserving, Pfizer vaccine, I could not contain my tears of joy.  Our first vaccination clinic was a HUGE success and we are eternally grateful to the Walgreens employees including two store managers, six pharmacists and four pharmacy technicians who flawlessly, professionally and most importantly, compassionately administered this life saving vaccine to staff and residents.  Walgreens deserves the highest praise for stepping up to the plate and providing vaccinations to long-term care residents and staff members not just here in NH but throughout the entire country.  I truthfully cannot express our gratitude strongly enough.  The white lab coats and gray and maroon uniform tops have new meaning to us – they mean hope!

While I know we are not yet out of the woods, the vaccination clinic was literally and figuratively a “shot in the arm” to all of us here. We are so incredibly hopeful that as March 10th, 2020, the day we suspended all visitation, marks our line in the sand as the beginning of the pandemic, January 4th, 2021, will mark our line in the sand as the beginning of the end.

Tricia

Patricia Cummings, Administrator, LNHA, MHA

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