The executive director of the Drew Nursing Home in Sackville, N.B., will be among the first New Brunswickers to roll up her sleeves to get the COVID-19 vaccine this weekend.
“I am not nervous I am excited and I feel like it is a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Linda Shannon.
Shannon said she will receive her initial dose at the Miramichi Regional Hospital on Saturday.
She said she understands that some people are a little nervous about getting the fast-tracked vaccine.
“I think that there is hesitation among the public and of course with our staff, too, there is some hesitation and so being an example and being one of the first people in the province to get the shot, it shows we are encouraging this and we are good with it,” Shannon said.
The health and safety of her residents is her priority, Shannon said. She added that life at the home where 118 senior residents live has not been easy amid the pandemic.
“It’s been tough on the residents. It’s been tough on the staff. It has been tough on the families,” she said.
The vaccine is top of mind for people tired of living amid restrictions like 93-year-old Pat Estabrooks, who said that Facebook messaging and phone calls with family is just not the same.
“I am not able to see my family the way I could before and I miss them,” she said.
Estabrooks said she is eager to get her shot as soon as possible. “Whenever it is available I am ready.”
Shannon said she hopes that will happen soon because even if all of her staff get vaccinated, residents at the home could still be exposed to the virus.
“The potential is still there with families and so forth coming in so I think residents would be a good next step,” said Shannon.
According to the province, nursing home residents and staff are scheduled to be vaccinated between December and March 2021.
Gayle Wry, a registered nurse at the home, said she is also getting her injection this weekend.
“It is finally here and I am very happy to be amongst the first to get it.”