Staff and residents at Waveny LifeCare Network’s Care Center Monday began receiving the first COVID-19 vaccine.
First to receive the vaccine were Russell R. Barksdale, Jr., president and CEO of Waveny LifeCare Network and Stephanie Schott, RN, nurse manager of Waveny Care Center, around 10 a.m. Monday.
“Everything has gone well,” Barksdale said. “There have been no reactions to the inoculation thus far.”
Half of the staff at Waveny Care Center and 90 percent of the residents received shots as of 2 p.m. Monday, Barksdale said. In 21 days, staff members and patients who received the vaccination Monday will get their second shot, and the remaining half of staff members will get their first shot.
“It’s pretty painless,” Barksdale said of the shot he received Monday morning. “You would think something that cold would be painful. My understanding is the only side effects people are seeing right now is a little soreness in the arm.”
He was not experiencing soreness.
The second round of shots should bring with it immunity to COVID-19.
“The T-cells react right away and your immune system starts to build up,” Barksdale said, saying within seven days of the second shot the recipient’s system should resist the virus.
It is not clear if staff and residents in the assisted living programs offered by Waveny LifeCare Network will receive the Pfizer vaccine or the Moderna version, which requires two shots in 28 days.
“We’re under contract,” Barksdale said, “but they’re still trying to get through the hospitals.”
Barksdale said he has spoken first First Selectman Kevin Moynihan, Health Director Jen Eielson and emergency services officials.
“I’m concerned about first responders as well,” Barksdale said. “I told them whatever support we can give them.”