JEFFERSON CITY – The Baptist Home-Arcadia Valley campus became the first of The Home’s four campuses to offer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination to residents and staff, Dec. 31.
This two-dose series, mRNA vaccine was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use on Dec. 18.
Just a few days later, a clinic was scheduled for Dec. 31, on The Baptist Home-Arcadia Valley campus, and representatives from UnitedScripts were on site ready to provide the first dose to all residents and staff who were willing and able to receive the vaccine.
After months of experiencing visitor restrictions, lockdowns, and quarantines, the residents who were waiting to receive the vaccine were nearly jubilant.
After the first few vaccine recipients emerged from the vaccination area, waiting residents and staff cheered, clapped, and smiled. For them, receiving the vaccination represented more than protection from a dangerous virus, but the key to being able to freely visit, hug, and see their loved ones again.
Professional Assistant Patty Risher was the first staff person to receive the vaccine. Patty shared she was very excited to receive the vaccine, and said, “This was never about me. This was about protecting the residents and my mother who are very high risk. When I think of how sick COVID-19 could make them or kill them, what are a few days of not feeling well?” After the vaccine, Patty reported having only mild symptoms, such as chills and body aches, but nothing severe. The majority of staff and residents who received the initial vaccination have reported feeling only soreness near the injection site or no symptoms at all.
In early December, The Baptist Home began educating residents and staff on the importance of receiving the vaccination and worked to dispel misinformation and myths about the vaccine which have been widely circulated on social media.
Baptist Home President Rodney Harrison, who is a registered nurse and vaccine proponent, said, “The choice to receive the vaccination is truly a life or death decision. As Baptists, it is our responsibility to choose life.”
The FDA is reporting the Moderna vaccine to have 94 percent efficacy, two weeks following the second dose, and those who might still contract the virus post-vaccination experience few complications.
For our residents, the first dose will begin protecting them from the virus after 10 days, although full efficacy is experienced two weeks after the second dose. At that time, residents who have been vaccinated will be able to enjoy physical contact with other family, friends, go to church, and socialize with other residents.
Harrison had the privilege of receiving his vaccination along with the independent living residents on the Ashland campus on January 5.
Initial vaccination clinics are currently scheduled for the Ozark campus on January 12 and the Chillicothe campus on January 26. Additional news about the Moderna vaccine and other COVID-19 vaccine FAQs can be found on The Baptist Home website, www.thebaptisthome.org/vaccine-news.