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The promise of the COVID vaccine

Assisted-living residents and staff in process of getting shots

Meadow View’s Pam Forgety gets her first round of COVID-19 vaccine Jan. 13. (photo:Meadow View )
Pam Forgety had concerns.

For 11 months, Forgety, as the director of Meadow View Assisted Living in Andersonville, had been in a struggle to keep the virus outside the facility — to keep her residents and staff as safe as possible.

She’ll be the first to admit that when a vaccine for COVID-19 was announced in early November, “I had my doubts,” she said.

That changed on Nov. 30.

Her husband, Joe Forgety, died after battling the virus.

“Here was this perfectly healthy 64-year-old man and he died from COVID-19,” she said.

Forgety said following her husband’s death she “screamed from the mountaintop to get a vaccine.”

“Even when you’re scared, you find the courage to protect the ones you care about and love,” she said. “This is our way to combat this.”

Residents and staff at Meadow View started receiving COVID-19 vaccines Jan. 13. Twenty days after the first dose, second doses will be administered (Feb.10) — anyone who missed the first dose will receive that dose as well. Twenty days after that all vaccines should be completed.

Forgety said there was “100-percent” participation from the residents and “about 95-percent” of the staff received vaccines.

“We had some staff that had doctor’s notes that they couldn’t take the vaccine,” Forgety said.

Getting the vaccine, Forgety said, was a relief.

She said 56 vaccine shots were admistered.

“For 11 months, it’s felt like we had a finger in the dam trying to stop a leak,” she said. “And the pressure was building up and building up.”

Forgety said the vaccine is not the only answer to the pandemic, but it’s an important one. Wearing protective masks, social distancing, proper hygiene are still needed. COVID, she noted, has changed the way we live, “but it hasn’t beaten us.”

“We live in a wonderful community,” she said. “And we want our residents to be able to have visits with their families, to be able to hug their families.”

Forgety said there were no adverse effects from anyone receiving the vaccine. She said Walgreen’s administered the shots for the facility, and “did a great job.”

“They really made our residents feel comfortable during the whole process,” she said.