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Moderna vaccines arrive at long-term care facilities across Carolinas

Residents in nursing homes and senior living facilities have started receiving COVID-19 vaccines, giving them hope they'll see family members again soon.

TEGA CAY, S.C. — The Carolinas are closing out 2020 with a big move in the fight against COVID-19 as residents in nursing homes and senior living communities have started receiving vaccinations

That includes on facility in Tega Cay, South Carolina, which began vaccinating residents and staff on Monday, many of whom have been separated from loved ones for months. 

One couple at the Wellmore Senior Living Center said they're most excited about receiving the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine so they can be with family again, which hasn't happened in over a year. 

"[It's a] Pretty good Christmas present," said Jean Brown. 

“We feel very excited,” said Jim Brown.

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The Browns tied the knot 67 years ago and while they appear inseparable, the pandemic has separated them from their family members.

“Our daughter is here from Nashville and we can only talk to her through the door,” said Jean Brown.

“It’s difficult because we haven’t been able to see family and that kind of thing, so getting the vaccine today is very important to us,” said Jim Brown.

The Browns are among more than 300 residents and staff at Wellmore Senior Living Center who received the Moderna vaccine Monday. The vaccines are being administered to long-term care facilities by CVS and Walgreens through a federal partnership.

“Today is the beginning of the end of COVID at Wellmore Tega Cay,” said David Dunn, executive director of Wellmore Senior Living Center.

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South Carolina is expected to receive 105,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine by the end of the year. North Carolina officials received about 96,000 doses last week that will go to long-term care facilities across the state. 

In the Charlotte area, Cabarrus, Gaston and Rowan counties received the most doses, each receiving more than 2,000. Catawba and Mecklenburg counties received the Pfizer vaccine, allowing the Moderna vaccine, which is shipped in smaller united, to be sent to smaller hospitals in the region.

For the Browns, the vaccine came sooner than expected.

“We’re very thankful we are going to be able to get it this early,” said Jim Brown.

“We’ve been hoping, we didn’t think it would be along this fast,” said Jean Brown.

“One step closer to 2021 looking a lot nicer,” said Dunn, who told WCNC Charlotte residents and staff are scheduled to get their second doses in the next

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