United Hebrew of New Rochelle marked a significant milestone in the fight against the devastating coronavirus pandemic today when we administered the first COVID-19 vaccines to our nursing home residents and staff. With our pharmacy partner, Pharmscript, and following the guidelines of federal and state health authorities, over 360 residents, short-term rehabilitation patients, and staff members received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Their second dose will be administered within the next 28 days.
Vaccinated 104-Year Old Resident Survived Two Pandemics
Among the first vaccinated was Mary Mignona, a 104-year-old resident at our nursing home. Amazingly, she has lived through two pandemics and survived both with flying colors. Born in 1916, Mignona was just two years old when the Spanish flu pandemic struck the United States. While she averted illness during her first pandemic, she tested positive for COVID-19 last fall. She remained isolated for two weeks on our Covid Treatment & Recovery Unit, and fortunately remained largely asymptomatic from the virus and eventually recovered.
Now, this two-time pandemic survivor is counting the days until her two children and five great-grandchildren — all boys — can visit her at United Hebrew, says her daughter, Christina D’Angelo. “Because of Covid, we’ve only been able to see each other virtually or through a window at the nursing home since last March. My mom has significant hearing loss, so interacting with her [in these ways] is difficult. This vaccine brings us closer to seeing each other in person.”
As many of you know, we were at the epicenter of the pandemic outbreak last March, and have cared for hundreds of COVID-19 patients since the beginning of the health crisis. Rita Mabli, United Hebrew’s president & CEO, today said the arrival of the vaccine provides tremendous relief, and brings hope that there are brighter days ahead.
“This is a momentous occasion for us,” she said. “We are deeply grateful for all who worked so hard to get the vaccine to us. Needless to say, it’s been a challenging year for our staff, residents, and their loved ones.”
Health authorities have said, from the very beginning, that people over 65 are at a much higher risk of becoming very ill from COVID.
“This vaccine will go a long way toward protecting them and their caregivers, who are still working so tirelessly to keep them well. Our campus will be one of the safest places to be,” added Mabli.