Oak Haven Community Care Center receives COVID-19 vaccines

CVS Pharmacy distributes Moderna doses
Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 9:55 PM CST
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CENTER POINT, La. (KALB) - Oak Haven Community Care Center is the latest nursing home facility to finally get the coronavirus vaccine. CVS Pharmacy distributed it to at least 100 residents and staff. After recipients fill out forms, the vaccine administrators take their temperature and then they receive the vaccine.

Some staff members said it has been a tough year adjusting to restrictions. Director of Nursing Jennifer Gauthier said the vaccinations are a light at the end of the tunnel.

“The virus has definitely been impactful on our community and all of us here at Oak Haven,” Gauthier said. “But we have a strong team who has really come together to get through this pandemic together, and we’re extremely proud of that.”

Gauthier was the first Oak Haven staff member to receive the vaccine, follow by her assistant director of nursing, Jennifer Gaspard.

“Protection for myself, for my family, for my residents who have become our family,” Gaspard said. “We’ve seen a lot of loss, a lot of sickness, and for me to do my part and be part of this team is great, and I couldn’t imagine not getting the vaccine today.”

CVS Pharmacy sent a pharmacist manager, Edwin Whipp, to distribute the Moderna vaccine.

“I’m extremely excited. This is something that is very important. It really gives me a feeling of well-being because other people are getting vaccinated and the more we can get vaccinated the better,” Whipp said. “I believe this vaccine is extremely safe. I think it’s very important that as many people take it as possible for us to get this pandemic under control.”

According to Gauthier, 78 residents and about 55 percent of staff were being vaccinated.

“For me to put into words the excitement I feel surrounding this day is difficult,” Gauthier said. “Knowing that receiving the vaccine will directly impact the well-being of our residents and the staff here at Oak Haven and my family and friends as well is of the utmost importance.”

According to Whipp, there are specific steps they follow when distributing the vaccine, like watching storage temperature, recipients must fill out forms, vaccine administrators take their temperature and then it is administered.

“It comes in a two-step injection 28 days apart. It protects them against the virus,” Whipp said. “It’s a very easy, simple shot to give.”

The staff members were vaccinated in the dining area. Residents were vaccinated inside their rooms. Commcare Corporation also facilitated bringing the vaccine to Oak Haven Community Care Center.

“Our company is excited about being on the front end of getting this vaccination out to as many people as we possibly can,” Whipp said.

“I wouldn’t want to get it and then give it to somebody else,” Geraldine Deloach, a resident, said regarding the virus.

Staff members say it’s been hard keeping everyone healthy.

“Seeing the people be in isolation and missing their families and the losses we’ve had is unimaginable,” Gaspard said.

Oak Haven’s staff is working together pushing them to make it through the pandemic.

“Our team has only grown stronger,” Gaspard said. “We’ve come together more as a team and a family than ever imaginable, and I’m so thankful for that.”

Resident Eddie Crooks shared his experience with COVID-19.

“I was the first recipient at this facility to contract the virus,” Crooks said. “It gave me a whole new respect for it. And I have been amazed too. There have been people much younger than me, and in better health, that have passed away from this…tragic.”

Tragedies that Crooks hopes brings people together.

“It’s my sincere hope that this pandemic worldwide will bring people to a closer faith in Christ,” Crooks said.

Oak Haven Community Care Center receives its second dose of COVID-19 Moderna vaccines on February 4.

“It’s going to take all of us in the community to make a difference and to make a change so that we can help to end this pandemic,” Gauthier said.

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