Upstate retirement community preparing for COVID-19 vaccine as part of national program

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MAULDIN, S.C. (WSPA) – An upstate retirement community is preparing for a COVID-19 vaccine. That’s the case at Maple Brook Terrace in Mauldin. In fact, the company they are owned by was one of the first in the area to enroll in the CDC’s National COVID-19 Vaccine Program.

Maple Brook Terrace is the place Susie Smith has called home for the last couple of months.

“It has just been a breath of fresh air for me because at least I can see people,” said Maple Brook Terrace Resident, Susie Smith.

Before that, she was spending the first part of the pandemic somewhere else, living a much more isolated and lonely life. She hasn’t seen her family since last Christmas. But now she told 7 News, there’s hope on the horizon.

“I will be first in line to take it when it’s available, I promise you that,” Smith said.

She’s talking about a COVID-19 vaccine. One that the executive director there told us they’re on the list to get when it becomes available.

“We are one of the first properties, one of the first companies to sign up for this vaccination program so when it’s available, our residents and staff will have access to that vaccine,” said Exec. Director of Maple Brook Terrace, Carol Babbitt.

This very topic is Dr. Bindu Mayi’s passion. She knows a lot about the research that has gone into the two COVID-19 vaccines that are showing promising results.

“The good news on the vaccine front was with the Pfizer vaccine, which shows about a 90% effectiveness. The Moderna vaccine, which was the best news this morning is 94.5% effective,” said Professor of Microbiology at Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Bindu Mayi.

The next step, Dr. Mayi told us is FDA approval for emergency use.

“It will need to be a phased-approach because the supply and demand issue. I imagine by spring or early spring, all of us should have access to it,” Dr. Mayi told 7 News.

Meanwhile, Smith is holding out hope she will be able to see her family again soon. If not for the holidays, a short time after.

“My circle can widen and I can get out to see my family. I hoped for Christmas, I don’t know if it’s going to happen but maybe a few months after that it will,” Smith said.

Fortunately at Maple Brook Terrace, they’ve had zero COVID cases so far. They said that’s because they focus on prevention and that’s where they’re hoping this vaccine comes into play.

The CDC has partnered with some major drugstores to provide free, on-site vaccination clinics at senior living communities across the country when that vaccine does become available.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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