Here at The Overlook in Charlton, one of Massachusetts’ top-rated Continuing Care Retirement Communities, we’re giving it our best shot—the vaccine shot, that is—when it comes to beating COVID-19.

We’ve already administered more than 815 first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to residents living in our five-star-rated healthcare neighborhoods, ergo giving our most vulnerable population sufficient protection from this world-altering virus. As of this publishing, 475 of those people have now received their second dose, making them fully vaccinated.

Now, the effort turns to vaccinating everyone else in our community who requests the shot, from independent living residents to our dedicated staff.

Our first vaccination clinic for independent living residents happened on February 1, when more than 350 people received their first dose. The clinic was an efficient, all-day door-to-door affair, set up that way for convenience and safety. Residents did not need to leave their homes or hallways, making the process easy—and extremely safe—for them.

You can see by the banner we created to commemorate the occasion, proudly held by independent living residents who received the vaccine during this first round of shots, that the long-awaited day brought more than just increased security and safety. It brought hope.

While you can’t see their full faces through the masks, it’s easy to tell they’re smiling!

“The last few weeks have been a huge first step toward conquering the impact of this awful virus,” said Mike Quirk, Executive Director for Independent Living at The Overlook. “We’re so grateful for the efforts that our staff has put forth to help manage—and now help us get past—this pandemic. We’re going to continue being careful, of course, but we are excited for the possibilities that this vaccine brings.”

Members of our community are also optimistic about what will come this year.

“Many of us can remember the excitement we had in our younger years that came with the development of the polio vaccine and lining up for our polio shots. Here, in our later years we experienced the same excitement for a second time, this time about the development of the COVID-19 vaccine and we lined up for our COVID-19 shots. Even though we have months to go of social distancing, masks, and restrictions on how we go about our daily lives, there IS light at the end of the tunnel.  THANK YOU to our administrators who worked through the bureaucratic red tape to bring the vaccine to the Overlook independent living. And a THANK YOU to our fellow residents who have kept wearing masks, even when it’s annoying, and honoring social distancing guidelines as painful as they may be at times. There IS light at the end of the tunnel—this time it comes from the point at the end of a needle! Thank you, Overlook!

– Janet Goodrich

Looking ahead to the near future, our team hopes to secure and distribute the second round of vaccines for our independent living residents and staff by the end of February. Our second vaccine clinic for independent living residents is scheduled for February 22

For evidence of the rapid vaccination progress we’ve already made, as of this publishing:

  • 99% of our healthcare residents (skilled nursing, memory care) have received both doses of the vaccine.
  • 99.3% of our independent living residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Soon, and after about a year of managing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, our community will be more excited than ever to return to some of the normal activities and social happenings that make this hilltop community so special.

To stay up to date on what’s happening at The Overlook, we recommend that you follow along by visiting both our Facebook page and our website. And for more information about making this safe, inspiring place your home base for an active and independent retirement lifestyle, click here or call 508-434-2318 to request a private, personal appointment (in-person or virtual). We look forward to meeting you!

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