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Coronavirus vaccines began in New York nursing homes Monday, with a 78-year old resident at one Bronx facility that’s been ravaged by COVID-19 getting his shot.
Kelly Dixon eagerly pushed up a sleeve of his brown shirt to get the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech during an event at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale.
“Go for it,” Dixon told pharmacist Michael Zarestsky, who wielded the syringe.
A moment after the injection, someone asked, “How was it, Kelly?” to which he replied, “You did it already?” he replied.
The facility’s medical director, Dr. Zachary Palace, was also inoculated by pharmacist Ankur Amin.
Onlookers broke out in cheers and applause following the injections, which were livestreamed on YouTube.
Monday marked the start of vaccinations for residents and workers at 618 long-term care facilities across New York, but it was unclear if those at the Hebrew Home were the first in the state.
Shortly before the procedures, Palace said they would mark “a very historic day in the history of the Hebrew Home, as well as in the history of nursing homes in America.”
“Today is the day that defines the difference between the pre-vaccine period and the post-vaccine period,” Palace said.
“Today is the day where we have the COVID vaccine available to give to our residents and to our staff. It’s the day that we are able to do something proactive to help finally break this horrible pandemic.”
Official statistics show the Hebrew Home has 52 resident deaths confirmed or suspected to have been caused by the coronavirus.
But The Post exclusively revealed in May that staffers said 119 people had died in the prior two months, including many suffering symptoms of COVID-19.
Weeks later, the state Health Department slapped the facility with several violations for “infection control concerns, failure to report accurately upon request by the department, and failure to communicate with families and residents in a timely fashion regarding COVID-19 deaths.”
Last month, The Post also revealed that “several units” at the 751-bed facility were closed due to the flood of fatalities, and that 56 workers had been laid off as a result.
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