Assisted living facility residents in Bristol get booster shots as they roll out in CT –

by: Bob Wilson

Posted: / Updated:

BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH) — When it comes to Pfizer COVID booster shots, Gov. Lamont said the top priority would be the most vulnerable. At Shady Oaks Assisted Living in Bristol, everyone who could get the booster was able to get it.

“Just as they approved it, we were able to call the pharmacist and we were able to keep our scheduled booster shot [appointment]. Yesterday, 28 out of our 34 residents got their booster shot,” said Tyson Belanger, executive director at Shady Oaks Assisted Living.

The other six people either received the Moderna vaccine or did not fall in the six-month window.

In the Shady Oaks community, they have done everything they can to keep the residents safe. There are dozens of air purifiers around the building and N-95 masks for everyone entering. They have never had a case of COVID among their population.

“It feels like a tremendous sense of relief. I feel like we have been swimming through shark-infested waters and we finally got up onto some solid ground. The Delta is really scary and it’s real,” Belanger said.

Belanger has been watching the weekly COVID numbers coming out of the governor’s office, along with the research on the Delta variant.

“20% of the nursing homes have staffs and/or residents with COVID, in the last two weeks. And what is true for the nursing homes is generally true for the assisted livings,” Belanger said.

Belanger said the numbers show the vaccine knocks down symptoms and hospitalizations for the general public, but the elderly with comorbidities are at greater risk for hospitalization, so prevention is the best way to go.

He said in the first 24 hours, the boosters are working with side effects similar to those felt during the second shot.

“Most everybody is fine, maybe a couple of sore arms, and we do have two or three residents who have mild fevers, but it [has] been reasonable and this is well worth it in the long run.”

There are 800 vaccine sites in the state but not all of them have the Pfizer vaccine. To find the clinics that have Pfizer, click here.