The vulnerable population in Chemainus and health care workers associated with them can rest a lot easier.
Residents of the Chemainus Health Care Centre and the Steeples assisted living facility received their COVID-19 vaccinations Wednesday.
“The majority of our residents were vaccinated and staff and residents are all pretty excited about that,” said Samantha Stone-Wickham, the clinical nurse leader at the Chemainus Health Care Centre. “It’s been a great milestone for us.”
It was a busy time for the vaccination team to make the rounds from the late morning and into lunchtime and the early afternoon.
“We were able to get a large number of our residents and a few of our essential visitors as well,” added Stone-Wickham, who was an R.N. previously at the centre and in education before taking on the clinical nurse leader position at the beginning of the new year.
“It’s been amazing,” she said. “I’m so happy we got it done – a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
“We’ll sleep a tiny bit better at night knowing we’ve started the process.”
Some of the staff members have also received their vaccinations, Stone-Wickham indicated, with more to be scheduled in the coming days.
Over at Steeples, administrator Liz Bennett said 14 people received vaccinations in the activity room. “We made sure all the tenants were there and had their consents.
“We will be informed when it’s time for the second shot,” she added. “All our tenants did get vaccinated.”
Strict guidelines for COVID-19 will still be maintained for the foreseeable future.
“I wouldn’t expect any changes until after the second dose,” said Bennett.
“All in all, it’s a good first step. We’ll know what they expect the next time they arrive.”
“Island Health’s target is that all residents of long-term care across our region will be vaccinated in the coming days,” Dominic Abassi of Island Health communications noted on Wednesday.
Second doses will be administered approximately 35 days after the first to maximize the number of priority populations to receive the initial shots.