COVID-19 vaccine offers hope to nursing home residents that family may be back within reach

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Nursing home residents, who have been among the most physically isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic, have hopes the vaccine could put their families back within reach.

Daily visits between Wendy Chao and her father Ken Travers, who lives at Belmont Village Senior Living in Lincoln Park, have been through glass. Now they hope the success of COVID-19 vaccines so they can see each other more closely.


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"My dad has already signed his waiver and I have a little anxiety about it, but I know, the benefits outweigh the risk," Chao said.

Residents and staff of long term care facilities are next in line for the vaccine after hospital worker.

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"To think we could be turning a corner and any day be receiving vaccines is miraculous," said Donna Hermann, executive director at Belmont Village.


Hermann said they are getting consent forms signed in anticipation of the vaccine being available to them.

"They will send a vaccinator to us," she explained "I don't know the schedule yet, but it will be in the near future and it couldn't come soon enough."

"I am thrilled I will be able to hug her and not worry that I'm causing her harm," said Rhonda Duffaut, whose mother lives at Belmont Village. Her mother Paula is also enthusiastic to receive the shot.

While those who spoke to us said they are looking forward to it, there is also concern about being among the first to take the new vaccine. In the coming days, staff and residents will receive more information about what is known about the vaccine.
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