CVS COVID-19 vaccine distribution begins at assisted living facilities in Pinellas County

Coronavirus

SOUTH PASADENA, Fla. (WFLA) – The latest Florida Department of Health data shows more than 550,000 people in Florida have received the vaccine, more than 26,000 people in Pinellas County alone.

On Monday, CVS began COVID vaccinations for some residents in an assisted living facility in South Pasadena.

Residents at The Fountain in Boca Ciega Bay were overflowing with excitement Monday. They didn’t even have to leave their room, as CVS pharmacists and a nurse came door to door with the vaccine.

One resident even calling it the best birthday present. “Yes, I just turned 89, happy birthday [to me!],” Jim Donarski said.

Donarski, a former athlete, and a captain in the Korean War says he’s excited to get the COVID vaccine to socialize again.

“I like to talk to people,” Donarski said who was grateful to be receiving the vaccine Monday. “I’m a happy camper.”

Phase one is taking place Monday, with vaccines available for the 140 assisted living residents, including staff and essential family.

“Let me tell you they are so excited today, this is really a true celebration,” Executive Director for the Fountains of Boca Ciega Bay Suzanne Burtzlaff said.

However, there are people in independent living, some upset they have to wait until phase two.

“I would tell them that it’s coming, it’s coming very quickly,” Burtzlaff said.

Over within minutes, Donarski said February can’t come soon enough to get the second part of the vaccination.

“The fact that a month will go by and I’ll be free as a bird,” said Donarski.

CVS officials weren’t available to speak in person Monday but said per an agreement with the Department of Health, they hope to roll out vaccines at CVS pharmacies in the coming weeks.

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