Families of residents in nursing homes share view on COVID-19 vaccine

Michigan nursing homes and the COVID-19 vaccine
Michigan nursing homes and the COVID-19 vaccine

DETROIT – Nursing homes have been ground zero for the spread of COVID-19, especially at the start of the pandemic.

Getting a vaccine into those facilities could be a challenge -- especially when some residents and their families aren’t sold on being among the first to get it. Some families have different views on the COVID-19 vaccine.

READ: Michigan nursing homes prepare for potential COVID-19 vaccine

Karen Vanderkloot DiChiera, who alongside David DiChiera, built the Michigan Opera Theatre brand -- was already living with dementia. The day before Easter she played the piano for the last time. On Easter Sunday, she had a stroke. Her daughter, Lisa, said she wishes desperately that a COVID-19 vaccine could have been available.

But Kelly Ryeson has a father in law who is in a nursing care center. She said that even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that nursing and home long-term facilities and their employees be among the first in line to get the vaccine when it is rolled out -- it’s still too soon.

“Knowing this vaccine is rushed makes me nervous,” Ryeson said. “There’s a safety issue for all involved.”

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

READ: COVID-19 vaccine could become available as early as Dec. 15, Michigan health official says

Watch the video above for the full report.

Click here to view a timeline of when the COVID-19 vaccine could be available to Michigan’s general public.

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