Austin senior living community among first in the area to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The residents and staff of Renaissance-Austin will be among the first in area to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The independent senior living community will offer the shots to residents and employees at an on-site clinic administered by CVS pharmacists.

This clinic is part of the state’s first round of the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care (LTC) Program. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, 124,800 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, set to be delivered next week, will go to the program. Vaccination under the program is expected to begin Dec. 28 in Texas.

Griffin Singer lives here at Renaissance-Austin. He says he wants to be one of the first in line to get the COVID-19 vaccine with the hope that life will slowly return back to normal for him and his family.

“I’m very vulnerable, many of us who live here are in an age bracket health-wise that puts a bullseye on our back, and anything we can do to remove that target, I’m ready for it,” Singer explained.

Over the next two weeks, there will be a coordinated rollout schedule for a CVS team to administer the vaccine to participating residents, like Singer, and staff members.

“Many of us this year, because of COVID, are unable to be with our families. We would like to, and I think the vaccine is a great opportunity for that,” Singer said.

Renaissance-Austin is still working with the state to finalize which vaccine it will receive.

The facility has about 30 staff members and 128 senior residents. Since the pandemic, there have only been seven COVID-19 cases in the community. They are still registering participants, but the administration tells KXAN even after the vaccine is distributed, COVID-19 restrictions will likely stay in place for a while.

“It’s a two-part vaccine, so I don’t believe protocols will change at the onset of that until we get further along,” Richard Franco, Area Manager for Holiday Retirement.

Those protocols include regular screenings, social distancing and visitor limitations, which isn’t always easy, but for Singer it’s been worth it.

“I think the sun is going to come up tomorrow, and once we get the vaccine we’ll go back to a more normal life,” said Singer.

To see the latest COVID-19 case data at senior living facilities submitted to Texas Health and Human Services, click here.

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