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Long-term care facility worker gets vaccine days after losing sister to COVID: 'It was just joy'

Posted at 12:51 PM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 12:51:42-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- More than 200 residents and staff at the Hermitage Richmond long-term care facility received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Friday.

Among them was Bernetta Finnney Vincent, a staff member of 15 years, who came in on her day off to get the vaccine, just days after losing her sister to COVID.

"I took this shot in her name. To make sure no one else would have to bury a sister,” said Vincent.

Vincent said she felt joy when she received the shot around 9 a.m. Friday.

“We’ve been dealing with this since March. We’ve followed every rule that was put to us. We have made sure our residents are safe. We’ve even curtailed some activities with our families because we want to make sure our residents were safe,” said Vincent. “It was just joy knowing we were the first in our company to get this shot to protect everyone else.”

Chris Henderson, President and CEO of Pinnacle Living, said they had 215 doses to hand out Friday on a voluntary basis at their first of five campuses.

“It’s been overall very positive,” said Henderson.

He said about 60% of the staff would be vaccinated and the majority of their 140 residents would too.

Vincent said it’s the first step in saving lives.

“I think she looking at me saying ‘good girl,’” Vincent said of her late sister.