The COVID-19 vaccine is on its way to hundreds of Good Samaritan Society locations across the country. When staff and residents have the chance to get vaccinated, Gregory Johnson, M.D., Society Chief Medical Officer, hopes they don’t take a wait and see approach.

“I think we feel an urgency right now for this pandemic to be over. Wait and see is the opposite of what we’re looking for,” Dr. Johnson says.

Dr. Johnson says the vaccines are safe and effective. They have gone through an extensive approval process. For those holding off thinking we will reach herd immunity, he has a message.

“We’re not anywhere close to that right now and if people are holding off on the vaccine, they’re holding off on a definitive end to this,” Dr. Johnson says.

COVID-19 vaccine survey

After surveying Good Samaritan Society employees regarding the coronavirus vaccine, many staff members volunteering for the vaccine say they are rolling up their sleeves to protect their residents and fellow health care workers.

“I love that. That idea comes out again and again, ‘They are my family. I do this for my family,'" Dr. Johnson says. "'I would do this for my family who I live with in my house. I am doing this for the ones that I work with.’”

Hundreds of comments gathered in a recent employee survey feature this theme. Others focus on bringing hugs and smiles back to Society locations. An end to the pandemic would loosen visitor restrictions at centers.

“I think we have all lived a pretty long nine months. If we were looking forward to an end, unfortunately it wouldn’t be just by getting the infection and saying I won’t get it again. I think we’re starting to talk more and more about re-infection. This will be over because of a really successful vaccination campaign,” Dr. Johnson says.

Answering vaccine questions

Dr. Johnson says if you are hesitating to get the vaccine, Good Samaritan Society has resources available to answer any questions you might have.

“Doing nothing is going to get us what we’ve gotten until now,” Dr. Johnson says. “We’re looking for a way forward and we know other people are too. I think we need to do this for our friends and our family, ourselves and our loved ones.”