Veterans nursing home where at least 76 died of Covid-19 giving his first vaccines

Health care workers at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home gave his first shot to Robert Aucoin, a 78-year veteran of the Air Force, according to a statement from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS). Aucoin, who served as a control tower operator at Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina from 1961 to 1965, has been living in the Holyoke Veterans’ House since April 2018.

Wearing a blue Snoopy mask over his nose, mouth and part of his long white beard, he was given a shot in the Holyoke home through a federal long-term pharmacy partnership program with CVS and Walgreens.

“I am very happy to receive the vaccine. My wish is that everyone in the world can get the vaccine,” he said in a statement.

Another soldier’s home in Chelsea, Massachusetts, administered its first vaccine to Dominic Pitella, a 94-year-old who has lived there since April 2018. Pitella, a U.S. Corporal of the U.S. Army, was a cook with the 559th Air Force. Group and serve in the Pacific Theater during World War II, according to the EOHHS.

“I’m hope it will help everyone,” Pitella said.

Dominic Pitella, 94, received a Covid-19 vaccine at a veterans' nursing home in Chelsea, Massachusetts, on Tuesday.

Government Charlie Baker praised the vaccinations in a hopeful statement of better things to come.

“The administration of vaccines to our frontline health workers and now some of our most vulnerable residents in the Soldiers’ House offers relief and hopes that brighter days lie ahead for all,” he said in a statement.

‘We are delighted to begin giving the first dose to the incredible men and women living in both the Holyoke and Chelsea facilities to provide more protection against Covid-19, and remain grateful for the dedicated staff who work tirelessly around us keep veterans safe and healthy during the pandemic. ‘

The vaccinations are a return to one of the worst outbreaks of coronavirus in the spring. At least 94 veterans have been killed, including at least 76 who tested positive for Covid-19, in the nursing home in Holyoke, about 90 miles west of Boston, which led to state and federal investigations and charges against two supervisors.

Two officials in the old age home face charges

The state’s 174-page outbreak investigates a series of mistakes the home made, including delays in testing, delays in closing common areas, inadequate personal protective equipment and a general lack of compassion for veterans.
Superintendent, former medical director at the veterans' house, is facing criminal charges after fatal outbreak in Covid-19
The main mistake occurred on March 27, when the leadership decided to move two units of veterans into one, combining some who tested positive for Covid-19 with those who showed no signs of it. According to staff and union accounts shared with CNN, the house has dealt with systematic issues such as short crewing for years.

A grand jury has indicted two officials in the home in September “for causing or allowing a serious bodily injury or neglect of a parent during the Covid-19 outbreak,” said Maura Healey, the Massachusetts attorney general. , said.

Former Superintendent Bennett Walsh (50) and former Medical Director David Clinton (71) are facing ten criminal charges. According to the CNN subsidiary WCVB, they pleaded not guilty to the charges in November.
The CDC has recommended that frontline health workers and those in nursing homes be the first to receive the coronavirus vaccine, proving that it is effective in reducing serious Covid-19 disease. About 60% of deaths in the U.S. coronavirus were among people older than 75, according to the CDC.