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Residents at Austin-area senior living facility celebrate getting 2nd dose of COVID-19 vaccine

"We're very fortunate to have our own gift of immunity here," said the executive director, saying the vaccine brings them some relief after a stressful year.

LAKEWAY, Texas — Jean Lockhart, affectionately known as Miss Jean at Belmont Village Senior Living Lakeway, spent her Wednesday morning celebrating. 

"We're very fortunate to be here and be getting the shot and not having to scrounge around trying to get a shot like many of my family are having to do," said Lockhart. "They're having to travel quite a way to get their shots, and I'm sitting here and waiting for someone to show up."

The 101-year-old is a COVID-19 survivor who received her second dose of the vaccine on Wednesday.

Thankfully, Lockhart said, her case wasn't so bad.

"I had a backache one day, and that was it," she recalled. 

Still, the vaccine is something to celebrate in the eyes of many at Belmont Village in Lakeway.

Credit: Belmont Village Senior Living Lakeway
Miss Jean gets her COVID-19 vaccination

"We try to make a big party out of it, and I encourage as many people to participate as possible," said Clint Strickland, the executive director. 

He said 99% of the 105 residents are now vaccinated, along with about 85% of the staff.

"Once we can protect this population, it's really going to relieve hospitals. It's going to relieve a lot of stress on the system," said Strickland. 

The past year hasn't been easy for Strickland and the staff, along with the residents and their families. Strickland said, especially in the beginning, protocols were constantly changing.

Credit: Belmont Village Senior Living Lakeway
Miss Jean after getting her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

"It's certainly relieved a lot of anxiety that we live with every day just because the potential of coming in and – who's going to test positive and/or what are we dealing with and how bad is it going to be if somebody does test positive? So we are all breathing a little easier now that we've got three clinics behind us," said Strickland.

As for the residents, the vaccine gives hope for future visitations.

"It's something that doesn't get talked about as much through this pandemic, but the isolation that the residents have had to go through," Strickland said, pausing. "We're here on a daily basis, but they're used to interacting with their families and loved ones. So just being able to get past that isolation and see their families is going to be huge for them because that's such an important part of their lives."

And, yes, we did ask Miss Jean what her secret was to getting to 101 years old. 

"Just living," she said with a smile. 

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