It’s a point we mentioned in a previous blog and now it appears as though COVID-19 vaccinations are coming through for residents and employees of recovery facilities. Massachusetts actually made headlines this week for being one of the first states to administer medications to those in our field and we applaud them for it. Hopefully, this will be the start of many, as distribution is increased across the United States.
The local Massachusetts news site WBUR.org was one of the first outlets to report the exciting news. The first major recovery org to receive vaccinations in the state is also one of its largest. Spectrum Health System houses over 120 patients and about 500 employees, all focused on addiction treatment. Their entire facility received 700 doses of the Moderna vaccine this month, ensuring nearly everyone involved in the program was COVID-safe.
And according to Kristen Nolan, vice president of the facility, the inoculations arrived not a moment too soon. This particular treatment center was hit hard by the coronavirus, so much so that a special wing was created for residents who tested positive for COVID-19. To their credit, the brave men and women of the staff continued to show up and help all patients struggling to get clean, whether they were asymptomatic or not.
“We feel very fortunate to be one of the first providers in the state to have been able to to receive this vaccine,” Nolan told WBUR. “It’s been a long 10 months — for everybody — and addiction is an isolating disease, so folks in recovery are particularly at risk. To now be able to provide this vaccination is certainly something that we’re really excited about. It’s important to provide this to the staff who have stuck with us through this pandemic and really have been the reason that we’ve been able to continue to offer this important treatment.”
The hope, of course, is that Spectrum is the first of many addiction treatment centers to successfully administer the vaccine. Though we most certainly tip our hats to the brave medical professionals on the front lines of hospitals and medical facilities, recovery workers deserve a lot of credit as well. Dependencies have not slowed down since the start of this crisis and many sober homes are continuing to open their doors, despite whether a patient is COVID positive or negative.
Thankfully, doses are becoming more widespread across the country. Though when it comes to prioritization, people in this industry definitely deserve to be high on the list.