Assisted living facility employee wonders when he will receive COVID-19 vaccine

Coronavirus

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Rhode Island remains in the midst of its coronavirus vaccine rollout, and an employee at one assisted living facility is wondering why he nor his colleagues have been vaccinated yet.

Chuck Pearson, the maintenance director at an assisted living facility in Cranston, tells 12 News that, although he enjoys working there and will continue to show up, he needs to get vaccinated.

“We are just frustrated because we weren’t prioritized the way we were told we were going to be,” Pearson said.

Pearson said he and his colleagues haven’t received any updates on when they will have the opportunity to receive the vaccine.

He said because he works with the elderly, he lives in constant fear that he will bring the virus home to one of his children. He has also witnessed dozens of residents at the facility contract the virus, some of which later died.

“This is what I signed up for, to take care of people, we deal with a lot,” he said. “But we come to work every day and do what we have to do, we have people to take care of.”

The R.I. Department of Health released a statement regarding the vaccine rollout which reads, “The pharmacies will be doing first doses in the nursing homes the rest of this week and through next week.”

“Yes, assisted living facilities are part of Phase 1, however, they will be getting vaccinated after nursing homes,” the statement continued.

Phase 1 of the state’s vaccination distribution program is expected to run through March.

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