We are proud to announce that here at Highgate we have started the first round of vaccine clinics at many of our communities.
Overall, team members and residents have been positive and receptive to the idea of receiving the vaccine. Many have expressed excitement for a COVID-free future. COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed across the country, currently only to our highest-risk citizens, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says most Americans can expect to be able to get one in 2021. It is important that as many people as possible get vaccinated to help slow the spread of the disease, but it is paramount to vaccinate the high-risk population sooner rather than later.
Here’s a look at how the vaccine has rolled out among some of our communities, along with testimonials from our residents and team members.
Highgate at Billings Residents Are Excited
“We're seeing some of our residents get so emotional that this is finally being offered and that they might get to see their families and their friends,” says Megan Wilson, Community Relations Coordinator at Highgate at Billings. “They were so thankful that the team members were all getting it, too, and promoting it to the team because we know that it is going to keep them safe. We trust it.”
Adds Lore Taylor, a resident at Highgate at Billings: “I think it’s the only way to stop this pandemic. It doesn’t matter how careful you are; you are not protected unless you are vaccinated. I’m 89 years old, and I want to spend time with my family. I miss them very much. I’m really excited about this vaccine.”
Wilson says a majority of the residents and team members volunteered to be administered the vaccine. Highgate Billings has two additional vaccination clinics scheduled during February, and Wilson says the hope is to get the community 100% vaccinated by then. She says the team members and residents who opted out of the vaccine during the first clinic may feel differently after seeing their peers receive their first dose. The Billings community has arranged for a pharmacist to host a Q-and-A session prior to the next scheduled clinic in order to answer any questions team members may have regarding the vaccine.
Highgate at Great Falls Residents Feel Safer
Inez Gaarder, a resident at Highgate at Great Falls is happy to know team members are getting the COVID-19 vaccine. "I think that's the way we need to go to be safe,” she says. Gaarder and other residents also received their vaccines, and she says she already feels safer. "I haven't worried about it at all,” says Gaarder.
Adds Tawna Wittenberg, Life Enhancement Coordinator at Highgate at Great Falls: "I'm very excited. We know we've got to get back to normality at some point, and I think this is the first step into doing that.”
Wittenberg says she has worried about potential negative side effects of the vaccine, but the benefits outweigh the risk. "I trust the scientists, and I think they know what they're doing,” says Wittenberg. "My main concern is keeping our residents safe. By us getting the vaccine, it increases that chance that they will be safe."
Highgate at Bozeman Team Members Have Gratitude
“We’ve had a long year of unknowns, fear, and frustration, but with anticipation and gratitude, we are excited to be a part of what could bring normalcy back to the lives of our residents and their loved ones,” says Jean Mickelsen, Community Relations Coordinator for Highgate at Bozeman.
Life at Highgate After the Vaccine
While we are excited here at Highgate about what getting vaccinated means for the lives of our residents, we will still be following all state-mandated guidelines regarding visitation, mask-wearing, social distancing, and quarantine processes.
We are appreciative and proud to have the opportunity to take this important step toward protecting our residents, team members, and families from COVID-19, and we look forward to the brighter future that lies ahead. As we wait eagerly for our second round of vaccines, we want to remind you to seek out information from the CDC or your primary care provider regarding questions you may have about the COVID-19 vaccine.
We are excited to open our doors to the community once restrictions are lifted, but until that happens, we will continue to offer innovative ways for you to connect with our communities. To schedule a virtual tour, fill out our online form or contact a community directly by phone.