City gets first dose of COVID-19 relief

TIM JEAN/Staff photoVanessa Burdier, a certified nurse's aide at Hannah Duston Healthcare Center in Haverhill, receives a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.  

It's finally happening.

The COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed across Haverhill, including at senior care facilities and among first responders.

Last week at Hannah Duston Healthcare Center, at least 90 of the facility’s 95 residents opted to receive the first of a two-part COVID-19 vaccine being rolled out across the country, according to Christy Cotton, administrative assistant at the facility. They will receive the second half of the vaccination in three weeks, she said.

Additionally, Hannah Duston Staff Development Nurse Hillary Rudder said up to 120 of the center’s 150 staff members received the vaccine.

“At the very beginning (of the pandemic) we lost a lot of staff out of fear,” Rudder said. “We’ve come together really well since then. There was a time in May we had some (COVID-19) cases, but overall we’ve been really lucky.”

Residents and staff at other local health care facilities are also receiving the vaccine. 

Mayor James Fiorentini said Haverhill’s application to have a vaccination clinic for first responders, such as police officers and firefighters, has been approved. The clinic was scheduled to begin operating this week.

Mayoral aide Shawn Regan said the city expected to receive about 200 doses of the vaccine –– likely enough for all first responders interested in receiving it, as well as the city’s nursing staff who will be administering it.

The mayor's office said more information will eventually be announced to let residents know when shots will be available to others in the community, including elders not living in nursing homes.


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