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Rochester seniors react to getting second COVID-19 vaccine dose

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- As you might expect, finally getting that vaccine dose comes with some peace-of-mind.

That's especially true for the residents of River Bend Assisted Living, who are so thankful and happy to have received both doses of vaccine.

And they are very much looking forward to seeing their families in the near future.

Since the COVID-19 vaccine first became available, residents in senior living facilities have been patiently waiting for their turns to roll up their sleeves. Their excitement is hard to contain.

"We waited and waited for this and we finally gotten it," said resident Barbara Floden. "We're like kids. I said we're just so happy."

"You know, it feels real good," said resident Kenneth Hanson. "It didn't bother anything about anything, but it feels good to know that we have that protection."

"Of the residents, all but one chose to get the vaccine," said River Bend Assisted Living Executive Director Jon Stene. "And then we have four that were unable to because they were out of the building at the time. So we've had a great response as far as them getting the vaccine. As far as staff goes, we're probably in that 65-percent range."

And loved ones are equally excited for these seniors.

"Well, they all think it's a good idea," Hanson said.

"They're so happy," Floden said.

The first dose was administered Jan. 13 and the second dose on Feb. 3.

"We've been able to open up things up here within the facility," Stene said. "Do a lot more activates. We still maintain that social distancing and wearing masks."

Everyone is looking forward to being able to get back to normal activities.

"I'm looking every much forward to being able to see my family when they want to come and go," Hanson said. "And not being quarantined so to speak."

"Like Ken said, I'm looking forward to just seeing our family and having those good times back," Floden said. "And my daughter says, mom when are we going to be able to go out and do something together. And I guess that's what I think is going to be wonderful."

As of now, no changes have been made to the visitor policy or restrictions to the residents leaving the facility.

However, Stene says they are working on a plan that would allow residents to go out and visit family, along with revising the visitor guidelines.

He says this will be a slow process to ensure the safety of all of their residents and they will continue to do testing.

Sarah Gannon

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