Healthy North Coast was pleased this week to support Port Macquarie’s Garden Village, which hosted a pre-COVID-19 vaccination event.
Local media attended and were able to speak to 100-year-old resident Grace Symonds, key Garden Village representatives and Healthy North Coast Deputy Director, Healthy Living and Ageing, Bron McRae.
Mrs Symonds will be one of the first in line when Healthcare Australia commences vaccinations for the retirement village’s 130 residents.
The residential aged care facility (RACF) is one of 15 on the North Coast – seven in Ballina/Alstonville and eight in Port Macquarie, that is scheduled to receive the first Pfizer/BioNTech vaccinations.
When asked how she felt about having the COVID-19 vaccination, Mrs Symonds said: “I can only go by what I hear and what I read, and so I would say it will be a good thing.”
She paid tribute to those who developed the COVID-19 vaccine: “They’ve worked for 12 months and they’ve finally found something to fight back, and maybe that’s our answer.”
Her message to others regarding vaccination: “I don’t really think that you have an alternative. The thing’s been so bad and there have been so many people lost … Why wouldn’t you go down that path?”
Garden Village CEO Craig Wearne said the RACF, along with 2,000 others in Australia, had been at the forefront of COVID-19 prevention over the past 12 months.
He said they were ‘really looking forward’ to the COVID-19 vaccination program commencing.
“Garden Village has provided residents, families and staff with a lot of information over the last number of weeks to ensure that they are able to make an informed decision,” Mr Wearne said.
“We must remember that getting the vaccination is a personal decision. On that basis, my personal decision is to have the vaccination. I have read, and I am informed on the vaccination and feel I am able to make a decision.
“I also feel that I have an ethical and moral responsibility. I work in a sector where we care for people in their home and I need to ensure, for me personally, that I am providing a safe environment for them to live in their own home whilst we provide them a level of care.
“I believe the only way to do that is to be vaccinated.”
Healthy North Coast will continue to work with RACFs to help coordinate the Commonwealth’s vaccination program, as well as continuing planning for the future phases of the vaccination rollout.
Pictured: Garden Village representatives with 100-year-old resident Grace Symonds and, front right, Healthy North Coast Deputy Director Healthy Living and Ageing, Bron McCrae.