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Vaccine clinics begin at Houston-area nursing homes

“We belong together. This is going to give them that opportunity. It’s a light at the end of the tunnel."

After months of isolation, some seniors are a big step closer to reuniting with friends and family.

COVID-19 vaccines started arriving at nursing homes in Texas Monday.

Kathleen Dixon is vice president of Atria Senior Living, which has several locations in the Houston area. She says CVS pharmacists started administering vaccines in Cinco Ranch and Kingwood Monday. Their other facilities are scheduled to get the vaccine later this week.

Pathways Memory Care at Villa Toscana, which is a Stonegate Senior Living property, will get shots through Walgreens on Tuesday. There are currently 53 residents living in that community.

“The family members of our residents are ready to see their loved ones and come and go as they please,” said Angela Norris, senior vice president of strategic relations and managed care at Stonegate Senior Living.

CVS, Walgreens, and Managed Health Care Associates are partnering with the CDC for the vaccine program. Teams of pharmacists will visit each nursing home three times, so all residents and staff have the chance to get both doses of the vaccine.

“All but four of the residents and their families have given consent to receive the vaccine tomorrow, so we’re really thrilled about that,” said Norris.

Atria Senior Living expects all Houston residents who want the vaccine to get both doses by the end of January.

They hope to reopen to visitors soon after, but that’s ultimately up to the CDC.

“We belong together. This is going to give them that opportunity. It’s a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s really nice,” said Dixon in a remote interview.