'I feel divine' says Madrid care home resident after second COVID shot

January 25, 2021 1:01 PM EST

Hernando Valiente, worker at the elderly home Ballesol, receives the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues, in Madrid, Spain January 25, 2021. REUTERS/Susana Vera

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MADRID (Reuters) - Residents of a Madrid nursing home got their second shot of the coronavirus vaccine on Monday and some began planning their first trip outside in months.

"I feel divine and delighted to be able to live a more normal life with everybody thanks to my defences," said Rosario Martin-Sanz, 99.

She was the first resident of the Ballesol Parque Almansa home to get her second COVID shot a week ago, while others were being vaccinated on Monday.

Another resident, Maria Asuncion Ojeda, said she had woken up with the thought that seven days had passed since she received the second dose: "So now I'm immune".

"We have been here in this nursing home since March, nine months without going outside," she said, though she said her first outing, when permitted, would not be without fear and she would stick to the safety rules.

It is not yet known if vaccines prevent transmission, so people who have been inoculated might still spread the virus.

Spain's nursing homes suffered badly in the first wave of the pandemic between March and May, with nearly 43,000 residents dead of confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

Care home residents and staff were the first in line when the vaccine roll-out began in late December.

The Ballesol home is awaiting instructions from the health authorities for the post-vaccination period, but for now residents should at least be able to see their families more often, said Jose Antonio Contreras, head of health at the home.

"I think that without relaxing too much we have to start to give them a little more life," he said.

Alipio Sanchez and Araceli Lopez, who have been married for 66 years, said they had missed being outside of the home. "It's everything, to be able to go out," Lopez said.

(Reporting by Michael Gore and Elena Rodriguez, writing by Andrei Khalip; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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