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Vaccine rollout begins at Boise long-term care facility

Vaccinating the seniors and staff members at Good Samaritan Society - Boise Village brings the facility one step closer to being able to return to in-person visits.

BOISE, Idaho — Long-term care facilities in Idaho began receiving and administering COVID-19 vaccines to their residents and staff this week.

The first facility to get the vaccine in Boise was the Good Samaritan Society - Boise Village, home to 77-year-old Jenny Johnson and other seniors.

Johnson said Tuesday morning was an exciting one at the facility.

“I got up, I got to speak to one of the nurses I really like, Trudy, and then they said '10 o'clock, we’re going to take you down to get your shot,'” she said.

RELATED: 'This is a ray of hope': COVID-19 vaccinations begin at Boise long-term care facility

A total of 175 Pfizer vaccines were given to Good Samaritan Society residents and staff members in partnership with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and Walgreens pharmacists. 

Facility administrator Rachel Storm said the first round of vaccinations went smoothly.

“Our team had already come up with a plan to go unit by unit, our consents were already pre-signed, we were just ready to roll,” Storm said.

RELATED: New COVID-19 strain could require more Idahoans to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity

Seventy-three of the 78 people living in the Boise Village opted to get the vaccine, including Johnson, who said it was not much different than any other shot. 

“It was a little bigger of a needle, I think, but it didn’t really hurt," she said. "It just pinched a little.”

Two more rounds of the Pfizer vaccine will be administered at the facility by mid-February. The vaccine brings residents one step closer to seeing their families in person again after ten long months of meeting through windows and fences.

“I think we all feel like this is the beginning of the end kind of thing, and everybody is ready to do whatever it takes to have covid not be a threat to our building," Storm said.

RELATED: Here's when Idahoans can expect to receive the COVID-19 vaccine

The Good Samaritan Society says the facility is waiting for guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on how and when they can safely return to face-to-face family meetings.

“I’m really happy that we are getting it and our administration seems to think it’s important – thank goodness because this country needs the help," Johnson said.

At KTVB, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.ktvb.com/coronavirus.

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