Residents and staff at Nelson’s Ernest Rutherford Retirement Village were very happy to get their initial doses of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine last week.
The residents and staff from both the village care centres and serviced apartments discussed with each other the fact that they are protecting not only themselves but others, and helping lead the charge in the fight against COVID-19.
The initial vaccinations were all being given on Wednesday under a vaccination plan administered by both the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board and the Nelson Bays Primary Health organisation. A group of 13 visited the village to administer the jabs.
Village Manager Brent Maru said nearly 200 residents and staff from the village resthome, hospital and special care units, plus serviced apartments were eager to get the vaccinations. The second Pfizer shots to this group would be administered on the 20th May.
“There was certainly great anticipation and eagerness from our care residents this morning when I joined them in the lounge… they were keen,” Brent said.
Likewise, as the Village Manager he was of the view that taking the vaccines was an absolute must. “From a personal perspective, the worst thing I could ever think of is that because I haven’t done something it’s caused somebody that’s a bit more vulnerable to get sick and potentially pass away.
“So, it’s a no brainer from me. Just in the general discussion in the care rooms, the residents are used to getting their annual influenza vaccination and they see this (COVID-19 jab) as another preventative measure that keeps them safe.”
Separately, a group of six Registered Nurses at Ryman Healthcare’s Nelson village were being training to enable them to take part in a vaccination process. The nurses were being peer reviewed, enabling to be certified to be vaccinated, Brent said.
While ‘border workers’ and their families were the first to be vaccinated against the virus, now it is the turn of other Kiwis.
Brent said he was proud that other Ryman team members, including the nurses and people like Ernest Rutherford Clinical Manager Jessie Tang, who were involved in all the logistics of frontline vaccination work. “Jessie’s been across all her care units today, she’s set up the atrium for this afternoon’s session, making sure our residents and staff are well informed, she’s really led the delivery of this.”
The residents were admiring of the efforts. “There was a good discussion around their views, in terms of the vaccination is another vital tool in keeping them safe from COVID.”
Ryman Healthcare has 41 villages which are home to more than 12,000 residents in New Zealand and Australia. Ryman employs more than 6,100 staff.