Long-term care facilities administer COVID-19 vaccine

Local News

BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — As the COVID-19 vaccine rolled out, residents and staff at long-term care facilities were a top priority.

At Jackie Withrow Hospital in Beckley, CEO Angela Booker said they received the first dose of the Phizer vaccine on Dec. 17, 2020. By direction of the state, hospital administrators asked residents and staff if they wanted the vaccine. The hospital then requested about 140 doses.

“We probably had about 66 percent of the staff and 93 percent of the residents,” Booker said.

Because the hospital is high risk for a COVID-19 outbreak, the age of the residents did not matter. They were all offered the vaccine. Some residents are not able to make their own medical decisions, so administrators had to reach out to families to get consent.

“We consult their next of kin or whoever is listed as their medical power of attorney,” said Booker.

Booker said she considered the vaccinations a success.

“No residents seem to have any particular side effects we had to address so it went very well,” Booker said.

Hospital staff will still continue with their visitor restrictions and safety guidelines, but Booker hopes this is one step closer to things returning back to normal.

“It is my hope that we can get closer to 100 percent as time evolves. And it is my hope that eventually it will roll out to the community to the point where we can eradicate this whole pandemic,” Booker said.

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