KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the COVID-19 vaccines roll out later this month to area hospitals, nursing homes and senior living facilities are also in the first phase to receive the vaccinations as they are in the high-risk category.
The preparations are already underway for McCrite Plaza at Briarcliff, a senior living facility in Kansas City's Northland.
"It is our number one focus right now is to ensure that everyone who wants a vaccine will have the ability to get one," Director of Operations at McCrite Plaza at Briarcliff, Cassidy McCrite said.
It's a sign of hope after more than nine months of battling with the virus.
The facility houses more than 200 residents who are most at risk at contacting the virus.
"This vaccine is going to be huge it really is you know with the accuracy that’s it’s shown so far, it is the first step truly forward in conquering this virus," McCrite said.
It's a virus that's been in this facility. McCrite Plaza was the site of one of the city's first COVID-19 outbreaks back in May where several people tested positive for the virus.
"It was someone who was asymptotic spread it throughout the building unintentionally," said McCrite.
To help get its residents get vaccinated, the facility is partnering with CVS Pharmacy to administer the shots. The first doses of the vaccine are coming very soon.
"We’re looking at like the next 2-3 weeks for the first round. First round in December, second round in January and then a follow up round in February," said McCrite.
“This is a process that is not new for us. We have serviced long term care facilities for many years now, as you think about conducting clinics for the seasonal flu shot," CVS Health CEO, Larry Merlo said during an interview on NBC's TODAY.
McCrite said he surveyed his staff and most of them are comfortable with getting the shot and so are most of the residents but he wont make it a requirement yet.
McCrite says another benefit for the vaccine shots is that it will lessen the pressure on the number of COVID-19 patients to the already crowded hospitals.
"What we can do for the hospitals as well is once our residents are vaccinated and our staff that chose to have it are vaccinated as well, we can help them, we can help them so that they’re not busting at the seams," she said.
The vaccine roll-out is a big step to bringing loved ones back together in-person again.
"It’s been definitely difficult on everyone and when you’re at the golden age of your life and you’re starting to come to grips with how much time may be left, every moment counts," McCrite said.