Senior center worker gets 2nd shot to honor sister who died of COVID: 'I finally did it'

Bernetta Finney-Vincent: 'I took the shot in her name'
Bernetta Finney-Vincent
Posted at 12:59 PM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-29 13:03:44-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Residents and team members at the Hermitage Richmond long-term care facility received their second and final dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Friday, just three weeks after receiving their first dose.

"I had hope. I had hope," said Bernetta Finney-Vincent, Life Enhancement Coordinator with Hermitage Richmond. "I got my second shot, I feel fine, and I feel we're moving forward with beating this disease."

Bernetta Finney-Vincent
Bernetta Finney-Vincent

In the first month of the new year, Finney-Vincent had felt both the unimaginable pain of the pandemic, and the triumph in taking steps to conquer it. Just days before Finney-Vincent received her first dose, she lost her sister to the coronavirus.

"I took the shot in her name to let other families know that you need to do this, so you don’t have to go through this kind of pain and trauma. It’s preventable," Finney Vincent said.

Finney-Vincent wasn't the only one taking steps to prevent that kind of pain Friday. Amy Chapman, Executive Director, with Hermitage Richmond, joined Finney-Vincent and many other staff members and residents in receiving their second dose.

Hermitage Richmond
Hermitage Richmond

Chapman said by 2 p.m., 74% of staff would be fully vaccinated and all but two residents would have the second round in their arms.

"It’s completely voluntary. It's not mandated -- and they’re stepping up because they want to keep each other safe and that’s what community and family is all about," said Chapman.

Hermitage Richmond Assistant Director of Nursing Doretha Wimms receives second COVID-19 vaccination.
Hermitage Richmond Assistant Director of Nursing Doretha Wimms receives second COVID-19 vaccination.

Doretha Wimms, Assistant Director of Nursing, said that didn't mean they would let their guard down -- but it did offer hope and more socialization opportunities for residents.

"We still wouldn’t do a big ole' corral, but we’d let them do more activities and socialize more," said Wimms. "It’s just the beginning of the year and I think we’re starting it with a boom."

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COVID-19 Precautions

Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.

COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.

Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.