100th birthday celebration starts with birthday girl's COVID-19 vaccine

National Guard troops converged at Boardwalk Apartments to vaccinate 147 residents today


Frances Swank, 99 until tomorrow, received the first of 147 planned vaccines today at an event that was part birthday party, part National Guard mobilization, at her home at Boardwalk Apartments in Olympia. 

Born about a month before the end of the Spanish Flu epidemic, on Feb. 26, 1921,  Swank said she never thought she'd live to be 100. She laughed when asked if she was grateful to live to her 100th birthday so she could receive her vaccine.  About the shot itself, she said, "I could feel it" but had no complaint. 

"It's so awesome that the Boardwalk Apartments is taking care of this for all of the people who live here who want to take the vaccine," said Ann Hunter, her daughter.  A National Guard Mobile Response Team member explained that they are delivering vaccines at congregate facilities around the state every day.

Swank's got big plans for the next few days -- games, conversation and dinner with her daughter and son-in-law on her birthday and a "bit of a celebration" at her church this Sunday, according to Hunter. 

Unlike residents of nursing homes, where protocols typically have prohibited in-person visits, Boardwalk offers its residents independent living, so Swank has been able to receive visits with Hunter throughout the pandemic. "We got together. I made sure we followed all the protocols, keeping our distance and washing our hands. We haven't hugged in a year," Hunter said, adding "I will be able to remedy that" [soon].    


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