Nursing home residents say vaccine is best Christmas gift

WATCH REPORT BY FOX 35's Valerie Boey

Some nursing home residents can't wait to receive the vaccine. FOX35 was invited into one senior living facility for an exclusive look at how it will change the lives of many, as they ready to distribute it.

Jeanne Fortier lives at Harborchase, a nursing home in Dr. Phillips. She may be 86 years old, but this year she feels like a kid at Christmas, "I’m excited, the only thing I want for Christmas is a vaccine!"

It's at the top of 80-year-old Sylvia Navarro's list too.

"I’m very excited. I weighed all the pros and cons with my age and never had any trouble with any vaccine."

Executive Director Anthony Polito says they plan to receive the vaccine by the end of the month.

"We are in contact with Walgreens. We are compiling our consent forms now."

He says the vaccine will be distributed in a well-ventilated room and 225 residents and staff will receive it.

"They’ll be staggering I believe over the course of a week and then there’s a second phase."  Everyone will get their second dose a month later.

Residents have been able to meet with visitors outside social distancing; however, they say, it’s not the same.

Jeanne says, "Everything is done by zoom and so you can’t touch anybody and I miss that."

ylvia feels the same about her grandchildren.

"I see them, but we distance and wear the mask, no hugging, and kissing or anything like that. And I really miss that."

Anthony believes it will make a big difference in the residents' physical and mental health.

"There’s that level of peace of mind in getting this."

Peace of mind, to go along with love and joy this holiday season.

Jeanne says, "I can pick up where I left off. In other words, go visit more friends." Sylvia agrees, "I’ll be able to hug my grand kids again."

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