VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - While many across the country and state have been hesitant to get a vaccine, seniors at Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay don't feel the same way. About 95% signed up to get a vaccine this week, the community said.
"This is the beginning of us joining the outside world, and it's a thrilling day," said Sally Herzzer, one of the residents getting a vaccine.
Hundreds of seniors are getting the vaccine Thursday and Friday. CVS pharmacists are giving them the Pfizer vaccine.
"It shocked me that it's 95%," said Ben Unkle, the CEO of Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay.
People living at the senior community have been free to come and go as they please during the pandemic, but many have remained at the community the entire time, according to Unkle.
"I think this is a generation of people that understand if we want to get our lives and and get our economy going again, this is the easiest way to love your neighbor," said Unkle.
They're now scheduled to get their second dose of the vaccine in early February.
"I want the people out there to follow the lead of the wise and smart people here who did their research and chose to get it," said Unkle.
Health officials have acknowledged some remain skeptical to getting a vaccine, but they've tried to stress the vaccines are safe. Gov. Northam brought in Sen. Tim Kaine's former chief of staff to stress that point during his press conference on Thursday.
"The risks are clearly outweighed by the vaccines benefits," said Wayne Turnage.
The seniors here hope it's the beginning of the end of the pandemic.
"It means everything. It's been a long journey. We've been well cared for here, and this is a thrilling day for us all," said Herzer.