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How This Senior Community In Delray Beach Is Preparing For The Pfizer Vaccine

Marty Katz.jpg
Grand Villa of Delray Beach East
Marty Katz, Executive Director of Grand Villa of Delray Beach East, meeting with a person who is visiting a family member in the community.

Residents and staff of assisted living facilities are supposed to be at the front of the line for COVID-19 vaccines in Florida. Many of them are still waiting.

The wait is over for one facility in Palm Beach County.

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Residents at the Grand Villa of Delray Beach East — as old as 102 — say they are looking forward to a drop in their anxiety levels.

That's what residents have been telling Marty Katz. He's the executive director of the senior community. Katz says CVS pharmacists are going to come into the facility to administer doses of the Pfizer vaccine to most of the more than 200 residents and employees at the facility.

"They’re telling us that they can do up to 10 shots an hour. They come in at 11 in the morning and they’re scheduled to be here through five in the afternoon," Katz said. "So in a six-hour time period, they can do probably 60 or more."

One of the most challenging aspects of the vaccination effort is meeting the specific needs of residents in the busy Alzheimer's and dementia care programs.

"We’re trying to make sure they’re following PPE guidelines and CDC guidelines," Katz said. "That’s really hard with memory care folks, and, you know, trying to keep a mask on them is very, very difficult."

Katz says the community "haven't had many [COVID] cases in the past months at all." But he says it's almost impossible to prevent a case.

About 40% of COVID-19 deaths in Florida have been linked to long-term care facilities.

CVS is scheduled to vaccinate people at all three Grand Villa locations in Palm Beach County beginning Friday.

Wilkine Brutus is a reporter and producer for WLRN and a guest faculty member at the Poynter Institute. The South Florida native produces stories on topics surrounding local news, culture, art, politics and current affairs.