Contributed by Arbor Springs

Arbor Springs Health & Rehab Center hosted its first COVID Vaccine Clinic Monday, beginning a process that will ultimately provide an extra layer of protection against the virus for employees and residents alike.

“We’ve been waiting and praying for this day to arrive,” said Annie Swanson, the administrator of Arbor Springs. “Taking the vaccine today won’t immediately put an end to the pandemic, but it’s a step in the right direction, and it is the perfect way to start a new year.”

Arbor Springs Nursing Director Cheri Place-Chaffin

Those receiving the first shot today will receive the second shot Jan. 25. After the second dose, recipients should develop an immune response that will greatly reduce their chances of getting ill from COVID-19.

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on those who live and work in long-term care facilities around the country. Older people and those with underlying health conditions are at higher risk for serious illness and death from the virus, and healthcare workers are at high risk of being exposed on the job. As a result, long-term care facilities are among the first to receive the vaccine. For that, Swanson said, Arbor Springs is grateful.

“This has been a hard, hard year for our residents, their families, our staff and our community,” Swanson said. “We have mourned those lost to the virus, weathered infections and sacrificed so much to protect each other and maintain safe social distancing. Today’s vaccines get us one step closer to a time when we can all safely spend time with family and friends.”

Eleanor Garrison gets vaccine at Arbor Springs

The leaders of Traylor-Porter Healthcare, which owns Arbor Springs, are taking the vaccine themselves and urging all residents and employees to join them.

“Our top priority is keeping our team and our residents safe,” said Mark Traylor, the president of Traylor-Porter Healthcare. “We are thrilled to have effective vaccines that can help us reduce the threat of COVID-19 for all the people who make up the Arbor Springs family.”