An Anoka senior living community began vaccinating residents and staff against COVID-19 Monday, Dec. 28.
During the Homestead at Anoka's first vaccination clinic, 83 residents and 73 staff members received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine, which was shown to be 94% effective in clinical trials.
Back in April, the Homestead was among the first senior living facilities listed by the Minnesota Department of Health as having known exposure to COVID-19 after a contract service provider who worked there tested positive for the disease.
“We are excited to participate in the initial phase of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout that includes both our residents and staff,” Executive Director Doug Dolinsky said in a statement. “Our residents are the most vulnerable to the negative impacts of COVID-19, and each team member on our staff continues to put their health on the line everyday as they show their commitment to our residents’ care. The Moderna vaccine was found to be highly effective, and we believe this will protect and save lives.”
The vaccinations were the first of two doses needed to achieve the full protection of the vaccine. Doses are given 28 days apart.
The Homestead at Anoka says it will continue to follow precautions such as wearing personal protective equipment and conducting regular testing to ensure safety and comply with state and federal guidelines.
“We fully support the federal and state prioritization of long-term care and assisted living in the distribution of the vaccine,” Dolinsky said in a statement. “The past year has proven challenging for everyone. We are grateful to our staff, residents and their families for their continued strength and support. The fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found the vaccine to be safe and effective gives us hope as we look towards a brighter future.”
The Homestead at Anoka, which opened in 2013, is run by the Volunteers of America National Service, which provides affordable housing and health care services in more than 40 states.