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Gatesville nursing home to receive first round of COVID-19 vaccine

Hillside Medical Lodge residents and staff will receive the Pfizer vaccine from Walgreens.

GATESVILLE, Texas — Hillside Medical Lodge residents and staff will receive the first round of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine beginning Jan 13.

"They told us the dates and we signed up for the earliest possible, which was January 13. So next week, we finally get our vaccination here in house," Administrator at Hillside Medical Lodge Michael Beasley said.

The Gatesville nursing home will be among the first in Texas and the country to receive the vaccine through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care Program.

The Centers for Disease Control partnered with CVS and Walgreens to administer the vaccine free of charge, according to Hillside Publicist Kate Watson.

"You know, they are having to look at them through a window or just talk to them on the phone and they can't understand why they're not allowed in," Beasley said. "Seeing it from day to day is pretty rough because you see them go through different stages."

As part of the program, Walgreens will visit Hillside three times over approximately two months to administer the vaccine to residents and staff members who choose to be immunized.

“This has been a difficult time for long term care facilities across the country,” said Beasley. “We are excited to see the beginning of the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

While hope is on the horizon, Beasley said they will still take precautions even after residents get vaccinated.

"As of right now, we're still going to minimize visits and we'll still be doing the window visits like we have been," he said. "We're here and we're going to take care of them like family and we want y'all to know that but we want them to be as safe as possible prior to y'all coming back."

The pharmacy partnership was coordinated by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

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