The Winthrop Housing Authority (WHA) started Covid-19 vaccinations for those 75 years old or more tenants last week at the inaugural Vaccination clinic on Golden Drive. Winthrop Board of Health Director Meredith Hurley said, “It felt good to be just a nurse again today”.
Hurley has been much more than just a nurse, having been foisted into a role no one could have predicted. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development and Executive Office of Elder Affairs notified local officials recently of Phase 2 eligibility due to age, disability – so long as we could find a partner for inoculations. Meredith Hurley, Bill Schmidt and others at the Board of Health responded; they were ready. Town officials, including Council President Philip Boncore and Town Manager Faison continue to keep this community together, and we are grateful.
For almost a year, their jobs and lives have changed as they navigate the reality of this deadly virus. Director Meredith Hurley, always helpful and driven to serve all citizens, Medical Reserve Corp, led by Director Jeanne Maggio and their team of volunteers joined Winthrop Fire Department and Action Ambulance in providing first doses of Moderna. The defense offered by this vaccine gives us hope for the Winthrop Community – kept together through Winthrop Food Banks, local churches, leadership of first responders WPD Chief Delehanty and WFD Chief Paul Flanagan and many more including WHA essential employees, the maintenance workers and staff servicing our residents. As the Governor opens eligibility criteria, we hope this is the first of several clinics in our near future. In the meantime, we mask up, distance, wash our hands and give due credit to the women and men that met us at O’Connell Hall for the vaccination.
Officials have witnessed firsthand the illness, the death, the isolation, the trauma. We’ve wiped the tears, witnessed the humanity, the care. Know that we are close. We encourage the State, through our providers, to get more vaccine into our communities.