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ArkLaTex nursing homes begin COVID-19 vaccinations

Staff at Golden Villa Nursing and Rehab in Atlanta, Texas receive the first of the Pfizer...
Staff at Golden Villa Nursing and Rehab in Atlanta, Texas receive the first of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination shot on Tuesday, Dec. 29.(KSLA)
Updated: Dec. 29, 2020 at 9:54 PM CST
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ATLANTA, Texas (KSLA) - An east Texas long-term care facility is one of the first to offer COVID-19 vaccines to its residents and staff members in the ArkLaTex.

Golden Villa Nursing and Rehab, located in Atlanta, Texas, is offering vaccinations to both residents and staff during a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Tuesday, Dec. 29.

It’s all part of a federal program that’s teamed up with CVS and Walgreens to help vaccinate staff and residents at tens of thousands of senior living facilities across the country.

Golden Villa leaders point to a morbidity or death rate of 10 percent, compared to 20 percent nationally. The Pfizer vaccine they’re working with CVS to administer will hopefully be a game changer for them and their residents.

That’s the word from Glynn Yarbrough, the regional director for Caring Healthcare which owns 15 such facilities in Texas, including Golden Villa.

“Where we could see in two to three months where we don’t just have our elderly and disabled population getting COVID,” said Yarbrough.

The nursing home and rehab center is home to 70 residents with a staff of 150. Ninety-five percent of residents will get their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

However, they’re not all getting the vaccination today. They are staggering that number to about 20 a day. It will take several days to ensure everyone gets the vaccine.

Some staff leaders are also making a plea to relatives of their residents.

“If you get the opportunity go vaccinate, go vaccinate. We’ve been at this 9 months. There is not an end in sight any other way,” says Rhonda Blanton, a regional nurse.

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