SIDNEY – Almost all of the residents of Ohio Living Dorothy Love have received both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as the facility hosted its third and final COVID-19 vaccination clinic Thursday.
Executive Director Tricia Atwood estimated 98% of Dorothy Love’s residents have been vaccinated with 156 of them receiving their second dose on Thursday from Walgreens employees. Residents were eager to receive the vaccine in hopes it will open more opportunities to socialize with their friends and families and also for health concerns, Atwood said.
“I feel very good about getting it,” said Betty Elsner, a Dorothy Love resident who received her second dose Thursday. “I checked with my doctor, and he said, yes, for me to go ahead and get it done. And I’m certainly glad I did because I know I’ll feel more safer having it done.”
Though almost all of the residents have been vaccinated, only about 30% of Dorothy Love’s staff members have chosen to be vaccinated, Atwood said. About 25 to 30 staff members were vaccinated Thursday.
“A lot of people have a wait and see attitude,” Atwood said. “People want to wait and see.”
While many staff members have declined to be vaccinated, Atwood said, she has received both doses and experienced no side effects. Dorothy Love overall has seen only minor side effects among the hundreds of people who have been vaccinated.
“We’ve really seen very minor, what I would call minor, from our residents and our staff,” Atwood said.
Dorothy Love hasn’t received any guidance from the state government on when it can ease COVID-19 restrictions, but residents are looking forward to the time when they can return to normal activities. Elsner, who has lived at Dorothy Love since 2014, said she’s excited to eat at the Oak Tree dining room with her friends.
“This is what they’ve seen for nine months,” Atwood said, pointing at her face mask. “We don’t see each other smile. We don’t really see each other laugh. And they want to be able to see their families.”
Currently, visitation isn’t allowed for residents in the health care center and assisted living because of the COVID-19 positivity rate throughout Shelby County.
“I hope that (vaccines) can help us start to decrease the positivity rate not just in our county but obviously for the state of Ohio so that we can get back,” Atwood said. “Socialization is an important part of your overall well-being so we want to see them be able to get back to that.”
Dorothy Love celebrated Thursday’s vaccination clinic with a Mardi Gras theme, which included music and lots of snacks. Elsner was thankful for the staff’s efforts on Thursday and every day.
“I’m just so thankful to be here at Dorothy Love,” she said. “I’m thankful for everybody and all the hard work that everybody does.”
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