At a vaccine clinic at Frederick Community College, around 900 seniors received their second shots of the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine Wednesday.
There was much joy all around, as people reported feeling safer and excited to get parts of their lives back.
Betty Dorsey said her granddaughter registered her for the vaccine.
“This is my second shot and I’m pleased so I can get back to church, visit people in my family, my loved ones,” Dorsey said.
The Frederick County Health Department receives 1,300 vaccine doses a week. Its priority is people 75 and older, but the county is also vaccinating some of the 11,000 educators who live or work in Frederick County.
“That only gives us 100 for the educators. We’re also adding special clinics for those with developmental disabilities,” Heidi Keeney, the vaccine program manager, said.
In some respects, the event felt like a graduation. All of the seniors who got their second shots now face the future, free to do some of the things that the virus has not allowed them to do for a year.
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"We’ve been in a box for a year. We’ve been hiding out," Gail Fineberg, who received her second dose, said. “We haven’t seen our daughter at all and she’s in Nevada, so we’re hoping sometime down the line we’ll be able to have a reunion. So that means a lot.”
But they know it’s wise to remain cautious.
“It’s my understanding this isn’t an absolute guarantee that we won’t get COVID-19, but it’s a big step forward in protection,” Todd Fineberg said.
Some see the vaccination as their golden ticket.
"I’m going to see my great-grandson in the inside of his house for the first time since he was born a year ago,” Becky Linton said. Vaccinated just in time to celebrate his birthday, Linton said she was excited, and through laughs said, “I’m going to hug him.”