Nursing home residents vaccinated
January 20, 2021
Several residents at a Tucumcari nursing home on Wednesday received the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, and more likely will receive it in the coming weeks.
Becca Trujillo, administrator of Quail Ridge Senior Special Care Center, said three of the home’s nine residents received the first of two inoculations. She said she still is collecting consent forms for the remainder of the home’s residents so they can get their first shots in February.
Trujillo said the administering the shots was largely uneventful.
“They were pretty calm, It hurt for a second, but they were OK,” she said. “They’re not showing any signs of being sick, and it’s been over 24 hours. I’m happy they haven’t shown any signs of being sick. I did have three employees get it, as well, and my cook did show symptoms afterward.”
New Mexico recently began Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, where those age 75 years or older, those 16 or older with underlying medical conditions that place them at greater risk from the virus, frontline essential workers who cannot work remotely, teachers and other school employees, and vulnerable populations such as those at congregate care facilities are eligibile to receive the shots.
Quail Ridge so far has managed to avoid infections among its residents, unlike dozens of other nursing homes in New Mexico that reported outbreaks since the pandemic erupted in March.
Trujillo said she and other employees have tried to be vigilant about keeping the virus away from the facility.
“I just tell the employees if they feel sick not to come to work and go get tested,” she said. “We want to keep them away from the residents.”
Trujillo said she and another worker contracted the virus weeks ago and stayed home until they recovered. That sick time did cause some staffing shortages, though.
“The girls worked overtime and pulled through,” she said.
Except for a brief time in August that allowed outdoor visitations under controlled conditions, Quail Ridge has been locked down to visitors since March to curb the spread of the virus to those vulnerable residents. Instead, residents have been allowed outdoor window visits by friends and family members, plus conversing by videoconferencing or phone.