MILL VALLEY (KPIX 5) – After hospital workers in the Bay Area were among the first to get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine earlier this week, caregivers at a senior facility in Marin County received their doses Thursday.
The residents of The Redwoods, A Community of Seniors in Mill Valley, will have to wait a little longer because the strategy is to inoculate those taking care of them first since they’re exposed to the virus every day.
People talked about hope and reflected on the difficulties over the last nine months.
“Everybody was pretty much burned out and on fumes. And when we got our shipment of the vaccine yesterday the entire room lit up and the wind in our sails are back,” Chris Le Baudour, the EMS administrator at the Marin County Department of Health, told KPIX 5.
More than 100,000 COVID deaths nationwide are of people living or working in long-term care facilities, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
“It’s for our own good and for the people we work for. It’s been a really sad 8-9 months,” said Sandra Mendoza, who works at The Redwoods. “These people have not been able to even see their families.”
Betty Kerrigan, 85, watched 130 staff members line up for their turns.
“I see hope and I a future where we can live a more normal type of life,” said Kerrigan.
She’s still waiting like the majority of nursing home residents across the country who will begin to get inoculated as early as next week through CVS and Walgreens.
“This has been the most exciting moment in my career to be able to move so quickly to vaccinate such a critical population in our community,” said Marin County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Lisa Santora.
Officials at The Redwoods said the facility has had zero residents test positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.