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Verena at Bedford Falls Residents Receive COVID-19 Vaccines
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Wake Forest retirees vaccinated against COVID-19 at home
By Amber Revels-Stocks
RALEIGH — Residents at a local senior living community received COVID-19 vaccinations at home Wednesday.
Verena at Bedford Falls partnered with Falls River Pharmacy to give vaccinations to around 30 residents at the community. It has just under 100 residents, but a lot of them already got their vaccines from other sources, according to Executive Director Colleen Jones.
“We have some folks that aren’t able to get out to the physicians’ offices or the clinic due to the fact they’re not driving. … There have been quite a few residents that have had a difficult time securing appointments on their own,” Jones said. “That’s why we decided to partner together to provide this great opportunity for our residents that live here.”
Some residents received their second shot Wednesday, but for those who were receiving their first, a second clinic is already scheduled for March, according to Travis Holshouser, the pharmacist at Falls River Pharmacy.
Holshouser said the pharmacy is very close to the residents.
“We take care of a lot of residents here with their medications and yearly vaccinations, so this was just an easy fit,” Holshouser said.
It took a lot of work to pull everything together, though, especially after last week’s ice storms caused a delay.
“We had Verena on the schedule last week, but we couldn’t come because the vaccine didn’t show up,” Holshouser said. “We got double doses this week.”
Falls River Pharmacy is registered with both the state and federal governments. The vaccines are distributed by the federal government to the state who then sends them on to Falls River Pharmacy and other providers.
“There’s a lot of training that goes into it with how to handle the vaccine, how to run a clinic. There’s a lot of work that goes into it, but we’re happy to provide the service.” Holshouser said.
He said the vaccine “is the only way the whole flatten-the-curve thing is going to happen. It’s proven to be safe and effective, so I think it’s a smart thing to get.”
Resident Virginia Bally was glad to get her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday morning. She said the process was fast and she appreciated not having to leave her home to get vaccinated.
Bally added that it was nice for the community to think about its residents.
She said she got the vaccine to protect her friends who also live at Verena.
“I don’t want to spread anything around. I would rather die than give anybody anything,” Bally said. “None of us want this. Who wants to put anything inside your body? You have to watch out for others when you live in a place like this.”
Laverne Hales also received her first dose Wednesday. She said she was ready to receive the vaccine and had been looking forward to it for a long time.
“It’s different now with the COVID, but I can manage. I’m pretty good,” Hales said. “I have a nice apartment and a lot of friends here. I love hanging out with them.”
She added that she couldn’t wait until they were all vaccinated and could enjoy group activities again. Verena canceled most of its resident events when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, including restricting outside visitors.
Some residents like Pat Foster finished their vaccine series at the clinic on Wednesday.
Foster said the second shot went even better than the first.
“I said, ‘Go ahead and give it to me,’ and he said, ‘You’re already finished!’ It was great,” she said. “It feels wonderful to have both done. I’m glad. I don’t want the COVID.”
She encouraged her friends at Verena to go ahead and get their shots, Foster said.
Raleigh resident Cathy Teulings wanted to get her shot at home partially because of how convenient Verena made it and partially because she knows the staff at Falls River Pharmacy.
“They’re making it convenient for me. I didn’t have to worry about trying to make any appointments anywhere else,” Teulings said. “The staff always go out of their way to be nice to you, so I’m not surprised they thought about us like this. It’s part of their nature.”
She added that she’s looking forward to sitting in the lobby with her friends again.
“I came about four times before we moved in, and every time, there were residents sitting in the lobby, laughing,” Teulings said. “Everyone was so nice and so friendly.”