COVID-19 In Allegheny County: St. Thomas More Manor Residents Dance And Shed Tears Of Joy After Receiving Vaccine

BETHEL PARK, Pa. (KDKA) — Emotions are high at St. Thomas More Manor.

“They were crying, they were dancing, they were just so elated and so excited about this,” says Sr. Cecilia Marie Kulik, the executive director at St. Thomas More Manor.

After immunizing its health care workers and people over 80 years old who had been in the hospital in the past five years, St. Clair Hospital brought the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to this 100-unit independent living facility on Friday.

“We wanted to give to people who may not be able to get on a computer or get access via transportation to get a vaccine,” says Dr. Alan Yeasted, the CMO emeritus for St. Clair Hospital.

Of the 90 residents here, 80 are getting the vaccine. But it takes a lot of coordination.

“You need to know how many people you are going to immunize,” said Dr. Yeasted. “We bring only the number that we need because we don’t want to waste any vaccine at all.”

Six hospital staff and the employees at St. Thomas More Manor are helping with this.

“These people are very organized,” one resident told KDKA.

St. Clair Hospital staff will be back in three weeks to give the second dose. This will use up the 7,000 doses the hospital received.

“Right now, we have enough,” Dr. Yeasted said. “We could use a lot more.”

“They’ve tried so many places. They were rushing to the telephone to call their families,” says Sr. Cecilia. “We all sat there and cried because we were just so thrilled and overjoyed.”

St. Thomas More Manor has had no cases of coronavirus. The residents wear masks and stay in their own apartments.

“We have a lot of activities that go on here, and we have curtailed all of that since March,” Sr. Cecilia said.

“Hopefully we can get on with the rest of our lives, what we have left,” said one resident.

Even after everyone gets their second shot, Cecelia wants to be cautious before resuming bingo and card night.

“I’m still probably going to require the masking and the social distancing. We will try to do some things, but I’m not sure yet. We will make that determination at that time,” she said.