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Highgate Senior Living residents and staff get COVID vaccine

Highgate Senior Living residents and staff get COVID vaccine
Posted at 4:39 PM, Jan 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-05 19:41:05-05

GREAT FALLS — Staff members and residents at senior living facilities in Great Falls are being vaccinated against COVID-19, and a first round of vaccines was administered this week at Highgate Senior Living in Great Falls.

Inez Gaarder is happy to know staff members at the facility, where she lives with her husband, are getting the COVID-19 vaccine. "I think that's the way we need to go to be safe,” she said.

Gaarder and other residents are also being vaccinated, and she says she already feels safer: "I haven't worried about it at all.”

Residents received their first shot last week, and Gaarder says she is looking forward to the second dose.

Highgate Life Enhancement Coordinator Tawna Wittenberg was one of the staff members who chose to get vaccinated. She said, "I'm very excited. We know we've got to get back to normality at some point and I think this is the first step into doing that.”

Wittenberg said she has worried about potential negative side effects of the vaccine, but the benefits outweigh the risk.

"I trust the scientists and I think they know what they're doing,” said Wittenberg. "My main concern is keeping our residents safe and by us getting the vaccine it increase that chance that they will be safe."

Staff members and residents expect to get their second vaccine in about four weeks.

Governor Greg Gianforte on Tuesday said that he plans to repeal the statewide mask mandate, but the change will not happen until certain criteria are met. He also said he wants expanded access to vaccinations for the most vulnerable. Click here to read more.