Nursing homes and health workers will be the first to receive the coronavirus vaccination, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The first phase of the vaccine rollout can begin as soon as a vaccine receives authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is expected to happen this month, the agency said.
With that announcement Tuesday, assisted living facilities across Massachusetts began readying themselves to be among the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
With a virus that has disproportionately affected these kinds of facilities across the nation, it may come as a surprise that with more than 100 residents at Springhouse Senior Living in Boston, not a single one has tested positive for the virus.
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Resident Suzanne Levine says she wants to keep it that way.
"I think we have this together feeling. This community feeling. Everyone wants everyone to be safe," she said.
Levine, who is asthmatic, says she is hoping to be one of the people at the front of the vaccine distribution line.
With vaccine approval close, Springhouse says it is preparing.
"Today we got notification from CVS, just information broad about how the procedure is going to work. How we're going to do it one day and then we'll do it again a second day," said Karen Pollack, the director of community relations at Springhouse.
But one doctor at Boston Medical Center says she needs more information before she feels comfortable distributing it.
"I don't have reservations, but I do need to have more information before feeling comfortable taking it and giving it to others," said Dr. Cassandra Pierre.
The information Dr. Pierre wants to know is, how long does immunity last? What are the side effects? And how does it work for those in the Black and brown communities?
Dr. Pierre says vaccinating healthcare workers is important for optics.
"Healthcare workers are also in charge of vaccinating the general population so we can say based on our own experiences that this is safe and that this is effective," she said.
But Levine says she doesn't need a doctor's approval to get the vaccine.
"I'm actually going to raise my hand and say, me too. I wanna try,'" she said.
The Boston facility is still trying to sort out the details on their rules as to whether or not all of the residents will be required to get vaccines. It appears right now as if it will only be mandatory for the staff.