Senior living centers in Michigan begin COVID vaccinations

Nearly 100 people at Samaritas voluntarily decided to take the vaccine

COVID-19 vaccinations begin at first senior living facility in Oakland County

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – It’s history in the making. The entire staff and residents at Samaritas Senior Living became the first senior living facility in Oakland County to get the COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday.

“I am very grateful to all the people -- most of whom I do not know -- that made this possible for me,” said Eugenie Beall. “In terms of the immediate effects of the vaccine, I’ve had lots of shots in my lifetime and so this is just another one. I would like a sucker!”

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Staff from the Oakland County Health Department administered the vaccine.

“We thought that it was really important to take this first steps so that we can lead the way,” said Ashley Cooley. “We have had a good partnership throughout this COVID pandemic and they have partnered with us since the beginning of the pandemic and offered it to us to be a trial site to offer the vaccine.”

READ: 11 takeaways from Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s update on COVID-19 in Michigan

Only two staff members and one resident at the facility tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began. The elderly resident is currently fighting it.

Staff said they are taking the potential for side effects very seriously.

“There is a monitoring period following the vaccine but Oakland County has a plan in place to make sure that every resident and staff is monitored following the vaccination,” Cooley said. “If there’s any ill-effects, they’ll have a nursing team on hand to address it.”

“I’ve made an informed decision,” Beall said. :When you’ve lived as many years as I have, you know that you can never be sure of anything.”

Nearly 100 people at Samaritas decided to take the vaccine -- it wasn’t mandatory. Staff said they will continue to watch county and state data before making any further decisions about keeping all who enter here safe.

READ: Tracking COVID-19 cases, deaths in Michigan long term care facilities, nursing homes

About the Authors:

Evrod Cassimy is the morning anchor for Local 4 News Today. He joined WDIV in August of 2013. He is an award winning journalist and a six-time Emmy Award nominee. Evrod was born in Michigan but grew up in the Chicagoland area.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.