Moderna vaccine arrives in South Carolina, assisted living facility starts vaccinating

Updated: Dec. 28, 2020 at 6:18 PM EST
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ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) -Right now, the Moderna vaccine is going to nursing homes and assisted living facilities in South Carolina.

The newest numbers show almost 180 active outbreaks of COVID-19 in these facilities in the state. There are 930 active COVID-19 cases inside nursing homes across the Palmetto State.

Monday, about 60 residents and staff at HarborChase in Rock Hill were one of the first to get the vaccine. 40 residents and about 20 staff were some of the first in this area to get the Moderna vaccine.

That is just under three quarters of their residents. Not everyone is getting the vaccine on Monday. Executive Director Leanne Pressley says some need to sign up while others are opting out of the option.

She says her team spent a month planning the rollout. A few Walgreens pharmacists were sent out to the assisted living facility. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control decided back in October to partner with the pharmacy so it could cover all of the state’s nursing homes.

As of Monday, HarborChase in Rock Hill does not have any active COVID-19 cases, but leadership here tells me the Moderna vaccine still could not come at a better time.

”I got cold chills just thinking about it right now,” says Pressley.

Executive Director Leanne Pressley got chills thinking about what the vaccine can mean for the community.

”We’re excited that this will protect our residents and our associates so we can continue on in 2021 and go back to whatever our new normal is supposed to be,” she says.

As of last Friday, HarborChase of Rock Hill only had 11 coronavirus cases since March. The facility had a COVID death too. When I asked Pressley what it has been like dealing with COVID-19 inside the home…she did not want to talk about it.

”It was terrifying obviously scary,” she says. “But my focus today is not on COVID-19 and what happened in the past. My focus today is on the vaccine.”

With that said, Pressley added her focus is forward. She says everyone will be fully vaccinated by the end of February.

”We’re hoping that it could get rid of this virus so we cannot have to wear the mask. And be able to give our residents that love and care that they need. That touch and feel is important,” says Pressley.

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