MEDFORD, Ore.- As vaccines continue to roll out across the state, one long term living facility here in Medford got its first doses today. For both the staff and the residents, it brings welcome relief and hope for 2021.
“I was surprised! It hurt less than getting a flu shot!,” said one resident.
The Springs at Veranda Park in east Medford administered their first round of the COVID-19 vaccine this week. Executive Director Steve McArthur says this is the next step in continuing to protect the long term living facility residents from the virus.
“We’ve been able to effectively keep COVID out of the building for the most part for all of 2020 for the most part,” McArthur said.
McArthur says from what’s he seen, residents are very receptive to the vaccine.
“There’s been an overwhelming response amongst our residents and staff to get the vaccine. So happy that this day has come,” he said. Residents tell NBC5 News they’re grateful.
“They’ve taken great pains to keep all of us as healthy as we can possibly be. And so far they’ve done a great job because we are all still standing up,” said residents Shan and Keith Lollis.
Many said they had no hesitation in choosing to get vaccinated.
“I remember as a kid the polio vaccine coming out and everybody taking it then. The good news is it stopped polio dead in its tracks and this one will too, if people just take the vaccine,” Mr. Lollis explained. These residents are not alone in encouraging others to get the shot.
“We’re really hoping that the vast majority of citizens agree to have it so that we can get out sooner, safer. So we can reach that herd immunity,” explained residents Barbara and Robert Haddon.
McArthur says it’s been a tough 10 months for residents.
“That’s been difficult for our residents in many cases but they’ve all come through with flying colors and are very excited for this day,” he said.
The seniors say they’re optimistic they will make it through COVID-19, as they’ve seen and experienced plenty of hard times over the years.
“Been through World War II, the Korean War, lots of wars. We’ve gotten through all of them and this. This is easy compared to some of the things they went through,” Keith Lollis said.
McArthur says they vaccinated over 150 people today and have not seen any negative reactions. He says the second round of doses will be administered in about three weeks.
Grace Smith is co-anchor for NBC5 News at 6. The Chicago native is a recent graduate of University of Miami with a Communication Honors degree specializing in Broadcast Journalism. She minored in Creative Writing and focused her senior thesis on social media usage and engagement. During her time at the University of Miami, she anchored multiple award-winning student television programs, covering everything from music festivals to the Super Bowl.
Though she loved Miami’s beaches, she’s thrilled to be in the Pacific Northwest where she can experience all four seasons and have a real Christmas tree! When she’s not at work, you can find Grace glued to any television showing live sports (especially if it’s the Chicago Bears) or attempting a new recipe as she learns to cook.