By Joan Murray

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As an FDA panel gave the stamp of approval to the Moderna vaccine on Thursday afternoon, those living and working at Broward assisted living facilities and nursing homes continued to get the Pfizer vaccine against the coronavirus.

“Every morning, I get up and say be not afraid to myself,” a positive outlook and meditation have helped 87-year-old Kay Allen see her way thru the COVID crisis.

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She is a retired teacher and media specialist who lives at Belmont Village in
Fort Lauderdale, which offers independent assisted living and memory care.

“I think it’s better than I expected,” said Allen.

Allen, a widow and mother of 7, grandmother of ten is happily surprised she will be getting her first dose of the COVID vaccine soon.

“Right now, I sit alone at a table for four and I’m looking forward to seeing my family,” she adds.

Belmont executive director Rene Buck is working with Walgreens to get nearly one hundred residents and staff vaccinated.

“Most of our residents are excited to get it over with,” said Buck.

Belmont has had only two COVID cases with staff.

Buck credits strict guidelines with keeping the virus out.

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The vaccine involves a lot of preparation. Everyone is screened and residents have to sign a consent form.

“Once we get the second dose, we are looking forward to a life we are accustomed to.”

On Wednesday, the governor said after elder care facilities, Floridians 65 and older,
will be next in line for the vaccine. Between Broward and Miami-Dade, that’s about one million residents.

The vaccination process will likely happen at doctors’ offices, pharmacies
and major COVID testing sites.

“If your doctor has screened you and you don’t meet any of the criteria that would exclude you from getting this vaccine, you should ask when you can get it,” said Broward Health Chief medical officer Dr. Joshua Lenchus.

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And Dr. Lenchus says getting everyone 65 and older vaccinated will have a huge impact in 2021.

“If we do vaccinate, those people, then I think that by the spring and moving into the summer, I think that we can start to see some return of normalcy,” said Dr. Lenchus.

By the time the Moderna vaccine is green-lighted and that means beginning next week in Florida, hundreds of thousands of vaccine vials will be arriving.

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The vaccines will be going to hospitals, to assisted care living facility, and then finally to everyone 65 and older.