Springfield’s Ohio Masonic Home received first batch of COVID vaccines

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN)– Officials at Ohio Masonic Home say a “significant” amount of both residents and staff members received vaccines on Thursday.

Walgreens came to the facility to administer the vaccines for nearly eight hours to help quickly and efficiently administer vaccines. Officials with Ohio Masonic had previously requested 360 doses for employees and 114 for staff, but wouldn’t release the data from today yet. Staff members who are considered at-risk say they’re hoping the vaccine will protect them from future exposures.

“I have C.O.P.D. and I’m hoping the vaccine will protect me,” said Springfield Campus’s Dietary Personnel Jannette Hartley. “I’m at risk and if this is how I can contribute to not only my work family here but also my community,  I’d do it ten times over.”

Officials say those who received the vaccines were excited and saying it brings hope. President Tony Berardi says he felt it was his responsibility to get the vaccine and lead by example.

“I’ve seen what covid can do to a facility, to a family, to a resident and I want to make sure that I do my part to keep myself safe, my family safe and also my residents and my staff safe from anything that I may bring back to the campus from my life outside,” said Berardi.

One staff member who’s been at the Springfield Campus for three years encourages people to seriously consider your own life and make the choice to get vaccinated or not for yourself.

“I believe that in the profession we’re in we can’t work on anyone with their mouth closed, so getting vaccinated would be best,” said Springfield Campus’s Dentist Anthony Hall. “As far as recommending the vaccine to others, it’s absolutely your choice.”

Other staff members say they received the vaccine for their elderly family members not only at the facility but also at home.

“I’m taking the vaccine to protect myself, coworkers and residents who live here, plus my elderly parents too,” said Clinical Corporate Training Manager Heather Herier. “The shot was painless, quick, I feel fine and I would recommend it if we want to see the pandemic end sooner rather than later.”

There is no word yet if visitation policies are about to change for nursing homes across the state, even with the vaccine roll out the governor still has health restrictions in place. For any residents or employees that change their mind, they will be given the opportunity to get their first dose of the vaccine when Walgreens staff returns to administer the second dose.

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