A campaign to vaccinate 115,000 residents and employees at Massachusetts long-term-care facilities began Monday, bringing hope to a sector ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 30 vaccination clinics were held at these facilities Monday, according to state officials, with more scheduled over the next several weeks.
The clinics mark a transformational moment in the long-term-care industry’s fight against the coronavirus. COVID-19 has sickened more than 30,000 residents and workers and killed more than 7,000, accounting for more than 60 percent of the state’s total coronavirus deaths. Residents also have suffered acutely from isolation, as visitation restrictions needed to prevent disease spread have kept loved ones away.
“I’m just grateful that this day has finally arrived,” said Zo Long, northeast division vice president of Life Care Centers of America, which owns 15 Massachusetts nursing homes.
Some 135 residents and 123 staffers at Life Care’s Acton and Auburn facilities were vaccinated by workers from CVS on Monday. “It’s just a blessing to have the vaccine, “ Long said.
Tara Gregorio, president of the Massachusetts Senior Care Association, which represents for-profit nursing homes, said initial reports from her members were enthusiastic.
“The clinics are going really well,” she said. Gregorio expects staff and residents at all 380 nursing homes to be vaccinated within the next couple of weeks.