In New York Nursing Homes, COVID-19 Vaccinations Begin
Coronavirus vaccines started Monday in New York nursing homes, with one of the first injections being received by a 78-year-old patient at one Bronx facility affected by COVID-19.
During a case at the Hebrew Home in Riverdale, Kelly Dixon enthusiastically pulled up the sleeve of his brown shi
“Go for it,” Dixon told pharmacist Michael Zarestsky, who wielded the syringe.
A moment after the injection, someone asked, “How was it, Kelly?” to which he replied, “You did it already?” he replied.
Pharmacist Ankur Amin too inoculated the medical director of the hospital, Dr. Zachary Palace.
Following the injections, which were live-streamed on YouTube at 10 a.m., onlookers broke out in cheers and applause.
Shots were also administered at the New Jewish Home on Manhattan’s Upper Side some 45 minutes apart, with 96-year-old resident Rhoda Winkelman among those inoculated.
Winkelman was non-plussed when asked how she felt about getting the vaccine.
“Whatever,” she said.
Beginning Of Vaccines
Monday marked the beginning of vaccines at 618 long-term care facilities across New York for tenants and staff. There a controversy exploded over a since-rescinded order that required nursing homes to treat patients with “medically stable” coronavirus discharged from hospitals.
According to estimates, the coronavirus killed about 6,500 nursing home patients. But an Associated Press report in August said the total number was actually higher than 11,000.
The CVS and Walgreens drug-store chains are delivering the two-dose vaccines on-site.
Gareth Rhodes of the state Department of Financial Services said last week that CVS plans to finish the first round of shots within two weeks.
CEO Dr. Jeffrey Farber said at the New Jewish Home that Walgreens brought 700 doses for Monday’s vaccines.
“The residents haven’t been able to see their families and loved ones for months on end.”
But, according to Farber, a sizeable portion of the employees is worrying about the vaccine. They want to wait a bit and see how it works.
The injections will mark “a very historic day in the history of the Hebrew Home, as well as in the history of nursing homes in America,” Palace said.
Palace said that today is the day that determines the difference between the time before vaccination and the period after vaccination.
The Hebrew Home has 52 resident deaths by the coronavirus.
But in May, The Post reported exclusively that workers said 119 people had died in the preceding two months.
Weeks later, the State Health Department slapped the facility with several violations for infection control problems, the inability of the department to properly respond on request, and failure to consult promptly with families and residents about COVID-19 deaths.