Woman who hoped to die instead of fighting COVID another day is instead 1st nursing home resident vaccinated


SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Jill Vuckovic, a resident at Bishop Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, was the first Central New York nursing home resident to be vaccinated against coronavirus Monday morning.

While most people are using the vaccine to avoid getting coronavirus, Vuckovic is hoping it will prevent her from getting the virus a second time.

After testing positive in May, the 47-year-old was moved to Bishop’s COVID unit before being sent to Crouse Hospital.

In the hospital room, Vuckovic was put on oxygen and had to force herself to eat. To her knowledge, she said she had the worst symptoms and hardest fight of anyone who survived.

She says, “I was so sick, I didn’t really care (if I survived). At some point, I thought let me go to sleep and not wake up.”

Bishop’s administrator tells NewsChannel 9 that his nursing home lost more than 40 people, most in the first wave of the pandemic.

Monday, Bishop planned to vaccinate all 300 of the 350 residents who agreed to it. Only 100 of 500 employees signed up, but the administrator tells NewsChannel 9 that he’s happy with the numbers despite the last-minute planning.

Despite her fear of needles, Vuckovic said she didn’t even know she had gotten the shot.

Vuckovic says, “It’s a celebration as long as people follow through and do it, get it. You don’t want to go through what I did.”

Bishop’s pharmacy services provider, PharmScript, will be back in January to vaccinate more people who were waiting to see the first round of vaccinations take place before signing up.

PharmScript is scheduled to do similar vaccination clinics at Van Duyn on Tuesday and Loretto on Wednesday. Both facilities are in Syracuse.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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