By Michael E. McRae
President & CEO, St. Ann’s Community
December 22, 2020
From the time we are children, we are told it is better to give than to receive. That sentiment embodies the Christmas spirit and is at the heart of what this season is all about.
This year, however, we have an opportunity to put a new spin on that saying. There is now a way in which by receiving, we can give. That is, by receiving the COVID-19 vaccination when it becomes available to us, we can give the gift of good health to those we love.
As I write this in mid December, the vaccine is on its way to healthcare facilities across the country. That includes long-term care and assisted living communities like St. Ann’s. Because of the vulnerable population we serve, our frontline employees and our elders will be among the first in the country to be offered the vaccine. That is welcome news.
As our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kim Petrone said, “There is light at the end of the tunnel and a newfound reason to be hopeful for a better spring. We all deserve to visit with our family and friends and to hug each other.”
In an address to St. Ann’s employees, Dr. Petrone stressed the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and the importance of getting vaccinated.
“It is my medical opinion and the opinion of our top scientists at the Centers for Disease Control that it is safe and effective and will provide us an end to this pandemic,” she said. “By getting the two required doses, you will have a 95% chance of not getting COVID.”
We have been praying for relief from the pandemic for months. Many of us have lost loved ones under heartbreaking circumstances. Our healthcare team has been working tirelessly, doing everything possible to get our elders through this difficult time. And now, at last, there is hope.
But that hope exists only if we listen to the medical experts and take the steps necessary to bring the pandemic to an end. I urge you: when the opportunity presents itself, get vaccinated. By doing so, you give the gift of good health to yourself, your family, and our entire community.