MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -- When it comes to COVID-19 -- they're among our community's most vulnerable. Frances Turner is among the staff and residents at Springhill Rehabilitation and Senior Residence getting the Pfizer vaccine.
"I feel great. No side effects and I'm glad I'm here," said Turner.
Turner says the pandemic has made life difficult.
"It's been hard because I'm a people person and it's hard to keep a distance. But it's the safe way today," said Turner.
Of the 70 plus residents who live there, 80% have elected to get vaccinated. With this added layer of protection -- Turner and other residents can't wait to catch up with family and socialize.
"I can't wait to go shopping. Don't you know can go shopping (laughs). Lee: You miss that? -- Yes, I miss that. Lee: What else do you miss? -- I miss my family. I miss my children... My baby children. I have five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren," said Mary Alice Blow, resident.
The long-term care facility had it's first case of COVID in October. Springhill Medical Center President and CEO Jeff St. Clair praised the staff for protecting the residents.
"So they went 7 months without a case, very few cases we've had were community acquired and everybody is doing well," said St. Clair. "Lana and her staff have done a good job at protecting them but still they are so locked down and visiting loved ones through a screened window or at a great distance just isn't socially natural -- so we are really excited for our residents. It's a really big day."
"Our facility has experienced an incredible safety record all year during the pandemic with only seven cases of COVID-19," explained Lana Davis, RN, Administrator of Springhill Rehabilitation and Senior Residence. "To be the first facility to receive the vaccines is so exciting. It gives us one more layer of protection for our residents in helping keep them safe here."
The vaccinations are a really big step in the right direction as we enter a new year -- they hope will be better.
"It's a new one -- we are going to start over and we are going to get rid of all this stuff," said Blow.
"I think we are entering a year of prosperity and I think this is a wise thing -- so everyone can protect not only yourself but others," said Turner.
The Pfizer vaccine was administered by Walgreens pharmacists.