100-year-old gets COVID-19 vaccine in Aiken; Governor McMaster talks about shots


AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — A number of residents and staff members at Trinity on Laurens receiving their first vaccination shots, including the oldest living resident there 100-year-old Benjamin Rouse. “I survive two marriages 37 years the first time and 27 the second time,” Benjamin Rouse told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk. He’s trying to make he doesn’t have to survive the coronavirus.

Rouse still smart a whip at 100-years-old. He can still run down his resume like it were yesterday.

“I spent four years in ordinance work before I was drafted into the Navy in 1945. I got out in 1946 and went back to Virginia Tech to get my master’s and doctorate degrees finished in 1949 there,” Rouse added.

He was one of the dozens of residents and staff members who got vaccinated at Trinity on Laurens living community in Aiken. Those staff members included folks in various roles including nutrition, housekeeping, and management.

The CEO of the Lutheran Homes of South Carolina said that the pandemic has been especially impactful to their demographic.”This has been very hard on long-term care and this is really the first step to getting our facilities and our residents protected and back to the normal way of life that we all want,” Frank Shepke said.

Governor Henry McMaster was there, too to share words on the pandemic and to watch some of the vaccinations take place. “It’ll take a while for everybody who wants one to get it but we’ve been assured that there will be plenty of vaccines available,” he said.

He also shared information on the number of vaccines headed to the state. “So we got a pro-rata share of about 57 million doses that they knew they would be able to send that after they created Operation Warp Speed,” he said. “So our 1.5% based on our population comes to about 822,000 doses. They were split up to go to CVS and Walgreens to go out to the nursing homes and long-term care facilities on a separate track,” he shared.

In response to the issues surrounding scheduling appointments, he noted that when in a new program, you’ll run into some glitches. Also, there was some confusion over the first and second doses with healthcare providers. “When you get those first doses, you’ve used them all up as fast as you because you’d get a second shipment of second doses either two weeks later or three or four weeks later, so you’re not supposed to hold back,” he said.

The governor also said that there will be plenty of a vaccine available, but until everyone gets a vaccination, we should continue what we’ve been doing — wearing a mask, washing hands, and if you getting sick, go home, go see the doctor.

As for Rouse, when asked about the secret to a long life, he said moderation and exercise.

“I played golf for nine years. I finally quit playing golf after 90 years because I couldn’t master the game. Only got down to four. My handicap was four,” he added.

Residents and staff members at Trinity on Laurens should receive their second doses in the next few weeks.

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