Residents at Village on the Ridge have received their COVID-19 vaccine.
Village on the Ridge, a retirement and long-term care home in Ridgetown, was the latest population to receive the vaccine.
Any resident who wished to receive a vaccine was given one -- including long-term care resident Marvin Walker, who was the first to receive the vaccine after having his hair and beard trimmed just for the occasion.
“I was number one! I’m excited to get the vaccine and glad that we live in a country that can offer them to us,” said Walker. “My arm feels great; I could go out and throw a baseball.”
According to Walker, the team was “very efficient,” having administered the vaccines for long-term care residents within the hour. The efficiency left him in awe.
“Holy smokes,” said Walker, “That’s pretty darn good.”
According to Lori Tinline, Recreation Manager at the Village, 35 of 36 residents in long-term care received the vaccine while 58 of 59 received the vaccine in retirement. Chatham-Kent Public Health, EMS, and registered staff and managers at the Village help with the roll-out to ensure smooth sailing of the roll-out of the vaccine.
On the retirement side of the home, resident Marsha Shelp was the first to receive the vaccine and was as equally excited as Walker.
“I was excited to get it as I just want to get back to going out and going places,” stated Shelp. “I miss being taken out for breakfast and just going out. But I will admit, I’m glad it’s over. That was a lot of excitement for one day.”
Betty Weaver was another of the 58 residents in retirement to receive the vaccine. She said while her arm felt a bit sore a day and a half after receiving her vaccine, the vaccination day went really well.
“It is going to protect us all,” said Weaver. “It’s too bad staff were unable to receive the vaccine at the same time as us. We all hope the counts in the community will come down, so we are not quarantined as much and don’t have to wear PPE all the time.”
Tinline later reported to the Independent News that their building was decorated with fireworks after all the vaccines had been given.
Carina Caryn, Program Manager, Chronic Disease and Well-Being for Chatham-Kent Public Health, said despite having received the vaccine, residents will still need to follow public health recommendations for physical distancing, masking, etc.
“It is unknown at this time whether or not someone who has received the vaccine can still transmit it, even if they don’t get sick with the virus themselves,” said Caryn. “I know this will be a bit frustrating for folks, but that is what the evidence is pointing to right now.”
The Ministry of Long-Term Care said as of Feb. 11, more than 62,000 residents had received the first dose of the vaccine, and more than 34,000 of them had received their second dose.
The provincial government said it would maintain the recommended interval of 21-27 days for residents who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The latest COVID-19 numbers reported by the local Health Unit on Feb. 11 include a reduction of five active cases to bring the total number of active cases in Chatham-Kent to 129.
Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News