AVON, Ohio — Distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine is ramping up. On Saturday, more than 200 Pfizer vaccines were given to residents and staff at St. Mary of the Woods Living Center in Avon.
Residents at the center were some of the first Ohioans listed as non-essential to get the vaccine. The first shipments coming to Ohio were directed to hospitals.
With snow on the ground and a big Christmas tree in the entrance, the holiday spirit is hard to miss at the center.
"We had a very different Christmas yesterday. It was just my wife and I," said Robert House.
House and his wife moved to St. Mary the Woods weeks before the pandemic put everything on lockdown.
"We moved in in January 2020," he said. "Well, it was a transition, but it's been very well handled by the staff here at St. Marys."
Even though House and his wife didn't open presents with family this holiday, they said they still got a gift.
House was one of more than 200 people vaccinated at the center.
"We know it's for our protection," he said about the vaccine. "And also will give us a chance to not be as concerned as we might have been otherwise... We're very pleased to step forward in regard to the vaccination."
The Pzifer vaccines is a two shot regimen. It was cleared for distribution earlier this month.
"The 16th of January will be our second dose of the vaccine," said Benajmin Massaro, an administrator at the facility. "Knowing that roughly 95% of our residents are getting vaccinated today, I can tell you as the administrator, I feel some of the burden being lifted."
Just like the state tracks cases, the Ohio Department of Health is tracking vaccinations. On Dec. 26, more than 50,000 people in the state started the vaccination process but that is less than one half of one percent of the total population.
"The shot was very easy" House said after the process was over.
"This really is a first step back to normalcy," Massaro said looking toward the new year. He's hopeful the state will start to ease restrictions so residents can see their families in 2021.