Nursing Homes Prepare for Historic Vaccination Effort
“We are on our own,” said President and CEO Daniel Reingold, who immediately began to secure PPE for his 1,200 staff members and as much Clorox as possible.
Without testing and proper PPE, long-term care centers nationwide were largely left to fend for themselves, particularly in the early days, and later the virus decimated residents. More than 110,000 people have died in these facilities, accounting for about 39% of total COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.
But on Monday, help will arrive. As part of a federal-private partnership, thousands of Walgreens and CVS pharmacists will deploy to begin a historic effort to vaccinate 4.5 million residents and staff at about 55,000 nursing homes and assisted living facilities nationwide.
The American Health Care Association, which represents long-term care facilities, nationwide, set a goal of having everyone vaccinated by March 1.
“We’re seeing about 2,000 deaths a week from nursing home residents, so every week we wait is really going to be devastating so the sooner we can get this done, the more lives we will save,” said Dr. David Gifford, the medical director at the AHCA.