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By Whitney Wyatt/The Red River Sun—
CHILDRESS – Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine together strengthened the bond between Kitty Caroline Stuart, a resident at Childress Healthcare Center, and her granddaughter Amanda Self, administrator of Childress Healthcare Center.
“Granny was always present for all the major milestones in my life, and I’m beyond excited and proud to share this moment and receive this vaccine with her,” Self said. “This has been a very challenging period of time for all of our residents, their families and our employees, and we are grateful to take this first step on the path to brighter days.”
That first step started with Stuart right next to her granddaughter.
“When I sat down for my shot, she wanted to hold my hand,” Self explained. “She wouldn’t turn me loose for a long time.”
When she finally turned Self loose, it dawned on Self just how important this moment was. As Stuart’s only granddaughter, this occasion was especially significant for Self.
Stuart was born in Merkel in 1934, weighing less than two pounds, Self added. She was close with her grandmother growing up, living just a house down from her grandmother on the same street.
The roles reversed in 2018, when Self became her grandmother’s primary care giver at Childress Healthcare Center.
“She has been a fighter her entire life,” Self said. “Taking care of everyone has been our bond. We have taken care of everyone in our family.”
Self also takes care of the residents at Childress Healthcare Center. She said they received doses of the Pfizer vaccinations through participation in The Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care.
To meet the Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed goals, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense made agreements with CVS and Walgreens to provide and administer COVID-19 vaccines to residents of long-term care facilities nationwide with no out-of-pocket costs, according to the HHS website.
Self said all but three employees and four residents received the vaccines. The second round of the COVID-19 vaccination will be administered at the center on Jan. 19.
“We’re hoping the others will take it,” Self said. “I feel safer having gotten the vaccine.”