Residents and staff of Atria Senior Living, a leading operator of senior living communities across the United States and Canada, received the company’s first COVID-19 vaccinations at the Atria Springdale community in Louisville, Kentucky today. This is a critical early milestone in Atria’s “Sleeve Up Atria” campaign to vaccinate the company’s 20,000 residents and 14,000 employees across 26 U.S. states and seven Canadian provinces. Atria Senior Living is based in Louisville, Kentucky.
More than 100 vaccinations were completed today, including virtually all residents at Atria Springdale. The first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine was administered, with the second dose coming at a January 11 follow-up clinic. Any member of the Springdale community that missed this first vaccine will be able to take their first dose of the vaccine on the 11th as well. Atria Springdale is one of three metro Louisville Atria communities among the six Atria communities in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. All six Kentucky communities are expected to have conducted their first vaccine clinics by early January. The company’s “Sleeve Up Atria” campaign involves inspiring everyone who can get the vaccine to do so, as the vaccine clinics roll out to all Atria communities.
“This vaccine is such a longtime coming, and also such a surprise, a nice Christmas present,” said Katie Russo, an Atria Springdale resident. “I’m most excited to enjoy dinner with a crowd of friends again. I know in the meantime, we’re making sure that we will stay as safe as possible, and I hope everyone else keeps staying safe, too.”
“Today is a new beginning. I am excited to be one of the first in line for the vaccine,” said Brenda Majeski, an employee at Atria Springdale. “For me, it means that I can plan on seeing my family again soon.”
Atria Senior Living CEO John A. Moore, who was also vaccinated at Atria Springdale today to help lead by example, said, “We’ve been waiting for this day ever since the promise of a vaccine became a reality. I’m so proud of our residents and employees across the U.S. and Canada who have done so much during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect our communities and each other. Today happens to be the same day as the Winter Solstice, which means there will be more light every day – it’s kind of symbolic for us. Our stringent protocols and testing effort of 200,000 tests so far have served us well, but it’s the vaccine that we hope will be the knockout punch. We can’t wait for the vaccine to come to every single one of our communities so that we can continue to do all we can to enable our residents to live their best lives regardless of the circumstances.”
Moore added that the company was pleased to learn that senior living residents and staff are in the Centers for Disease Control’s “1a” priority status for the vaccine, but also expressed concern that residents in independent living facilities may not come as high a priority in the vaccine rollout. “We’re advocating to not delay seniors from getting this vaccine who happen to be able to live independently yet still live in congregate settings like we provide,” Moore said.