Anxiety, relief — and confusion — as vaccines head to Massachusetts’ hard-hit senior care sites – The Boston Globe

Anxiety, relief — and confusion — as vaccines head to Massachusetts’ hard-hit senior care sites – The Boston Globe

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Adding to the uncertainty, several long-term-care administrators this week said they still hadn’t received definitive information about when their staff and residents will be vaccinated. The pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens are administering the vaccines with plans to visit each such facility in Massachusetts three times in the coming weeks.

Despite all the complications, some elder care staffers say the vaccinations can’t come soon enough after a year in which one in seven nursing home residents statewide succumbed to COVID-19.

“I have seen so much death in these months, there seems like there hasn’t been a day gone by that someone hasn’t died,” said Kathy Griham, a 54-year-old certified nursing assistant at two nursing homes in Boston.

“I am so ready, I would take [the vaccine] right now,” said Griham who, as a Black woman with diabetes, is at high risk for serious complications from COVID-19.

But many of Griham’s colleagues, as well as legions of other staffers in senior care facilities throughout Massachusetts, have voiced fears about side effects and safety, some feeding off misinformation ricocheting across social media, administrators say. Nursing homes employ many immigrant and Black and Latino American workers who harbor deep-rooted suspicions of a health care system that has often discriminated against them.

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