Columbia County senior living community among first in CSRA slated to get COVID-19 vaccine


EVANS, Ga. (WJBF) – For people who live and work in one senior living community in Evans, the CDC’s national COVID-19 Vaccine Program will be free.

NewsChannel 6 spoke with Marshall Pines Assisted Living and Memory Care Executive Director Kellie Pugh about the news.

“Once we found out that there was going to be a vaccine available, our company Sunshine Retirement Living immediately enrolled in the national program and we were accepted,” Pugh said.

Marshall Pines Assisted Living and Memory Care will be among the first places locally to take part in the process to become safe from the deadly virus sweeping across the world. Pugh said she’s not sure of the exact release date, but the vaccine could be available early next year between January and March.

“Our residents and the family members of our residents are very excited at the possibility of having this vaccine in place,” she said. “They’re going to be able to see each other and be able to hug and touch and be with their loved ones.”

Pugh added she’s planning to get the vaccine too along with her staff and residents.

Back in October, the CDC released a playbook for states, which spells out it’s vaccine program. It talks about there being a limited supply. It said the focus will be on those critical to the response and those at highest risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19.

Marshall Pines, which has been coronavirus free since the start of the pandemic, will partner with CVS for free, on-site vaccinations.

Walgreens is a partner store too in the same CDC vaccine program.

“It’s been very difficult for all of us to have that separation,” she explained. “To know that there is an opportunity, hopefully sooner than later, where we can all be reunited is just a wonderful thought.

A COVID-19 vaccine has not been FDA approved. But the CDC’s program is already planned so that once a vaccine is approved there can be rapid deployment.

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