Residents Jean and Sally (preferred not to use last name) with Administrator Meagan Yorks
Residents Jean and Sally (preferred not to use last name) with Administrator Meagan Yorks
Residents Jean and Sally (preferred not to use last name) with Administrator Meagan Yorks

MIDDLETOWN – Residents and employees of Care One at King James joined together Friday to celebrate the 183 Covid vaccinations that were completed at the care center on Monday. Care Center Administrator Meagan Yorks said all who received the vaccine received celebratory VIP tee shirts to mark the occasion. The VIP shirts identify the residents as Very Important Persons as all are, but especially as VIP, Very Immunized Persons.

The care center was one of the first in New Jersey to receive vaccine Dec. 28 and 144 staff, residents, physicians, the wound care team, and other health care workers received their first vaccine. The 183 who received an injection Monday included the second vaccine for each of them, along with a first inoculation for any staff members who had missed it the first time. They will receive their second injection on Feb. 8.   

“The residents were so pleased and so proud to be wearing their new tee shirts,” Yorks said. “They were happy they were among the first to receive the vaccine and kind of look at themselves as leaders and trail blazers.”

care one vaccine vip

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Jackson Pines and Cranston Dean in residency at Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park
Jackson Pines and Cranston Dean at Langosta

PHOTO:  (l-r) Social Worker Kristen Ingegnere and Administrator Meagan Yorks

The administrator added that none of the residents had shown any signs of reactions to the first shot, though some staff members exhibited minor symptoms, including soreness at the inoculation site and tiredness over the next few days. “But there were no serious reactions, and we were particularly happy to see how none of the residents had any post vaccine symptoms,” she said.

Last week’s program means that all staff and residents who wanted the vaccine have now received it, including new residents who came into the care center between Dec. 28 and Jan. 18.

In addition to all the modifications all nursing homes had to implement because of Covid, Care One also underwent its annual inspection by the NJ Department of Health, a five day visit from state personnel who review all aspects of health care and facilities, and speak with residents, family, staff and the state’s volunteer resident advocate. “We were so happy to see we were very successful in that inspection as well,” Yorks said, noting the inspection was “highly successful and gratifying.”

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PHOTO: The Staff of Care One Celebrate Very Immunized Persons

The nursing home was free of all Covid from June through December, when two residents tested positive. One was transferred to the Covid unit at another Care One facility and has since returned to King James, and the other has been hospitalized. “What was most amazing and gratifying,” Yorks said, “was that no other resident or employee contracted the virus, and I can attribute that to our staff identifying the situation early and having an immediate plan and procedure in place so it did not spread to any other residents. The staff has been working hard to ensure all protocols and safety measures are in place, and the fact they could halt any spread of the disease is an indication they have been doing their jobs well.  As of today, we are once again Covid free.”

The Care Center currently house 90 residents and is accepting new residents so long as space permits.

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Muriel J Smith

Muriel J Smith an award-winning journalist, former newspaper editor, book author and historian, Her newest venture is her blog, in...