LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The second COVID-19 vaccine makes its way to Arkansas as the number of cases and deaths takes a concerning turn up. Monday night, a Little Rock senior living facility was one of the first places to receive the Moderna COVID vaccine, approved only a few days ago. 100 doses were sent to the Con Ivie Gardens apartment complex, with all 66 tenants and 8 staff members able to receive the vaccine. About half elected to get the shot, with others waiting to see how the recipients reacted before taking their turn in line.
With one prick, history is made as the first COVID-19 vaccines make their way through Little Rock senior living centers. “So far, I feel good,” said 91-year-old Lucille Johnson, who was the first at Con Ivie Gardens to get the shot. She says she wasn’t initially planning on the vaccine until she was convinced by a loved one. “My daughter talked to me,” Johnson said. With some moral support from staff members, Lucille got the vaccine in a procedure that took less than 5 minutes. “I’m glad it’s over with,” Johnson said. “I won’t have to worry about it.”
“They notified me yesterday morning that the vaccine had come, designated specifically for us.” Owner Connie Biddle says word of the vaccine’s arrival was welcome news to many residents, all of whom fall into the high-risk category for COVID-19. “Most of our tenants are 62 and older,” Biddle explained. Out of the 66 people who call Con Ivie home, more than half got the shot.
However, some decided to wait, something Biddle understands. “I’m a little bit nervous,” Biddle said, when explaining how she was going to get the vaccine. “It’s a big step.” But that one moment of discomfort came with a sigh of relief as everyone who lined up knew their turn would be a chance to beat the virus. “This is historic to be part of this rollout,” said Biddle.
Everyone who got the shot was asked to stay for 15 minutes to monitor for side effects. While our camera crew was there, no symptoms were reported or any cause for concern. Biddle is hopeful more tenants will sign up for the vaccine once they see how others react. You can learn more about Con Ivie Gardens here.