Vaccine Rollout In Nursing Homes ‘Running Smoothly’ Amid Record-Breaking COVID Cases
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have experienced much of what seems as a COVID-19 rollercoaster ride as many facilities have been affected by rising cases among staff and residents.
Now that COVID vaccines are being distributed and given to patients by physicians, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are among some of the most vulnerable groups who received the vaccine or will be under the pharmacy partnership program.
During this current vaccine rollout, Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), said the distribution is going as planned.
“With record-breaking cases in nursing homes right now due to soaring community spread, no one could wish for a swifter delivery of the vaccine than those living and working in long term care facilities,” Parkinson said. “While we must be efficient in order to save the lives of our most vulnerable, we must also be thoughtful and targeted in our approach.”
Parkinson said since the creation of the pharmacy partnership program for long term care, his team knew that the rollout would take time. There are many things to check off in this process such as: approve the vaccines for use, have enough supply for each state to activate the program, encourage states to prioritize our population, distribute and ship the vaccine to the pharmacies, prepare the clinics for residents who have complex conditions, gather consent among residents or their healthcare representatives and educate staff, residents and family members about the need to take the vaccine.
“The plan from the beginning was to vaccinate long-term-care residents and staff with the first dose over three to four weeks, beginning the last two weeks of December,” he said. “Therefore, we are in the midst of the pharmacy partnership program really getting underway, and we believe this program is operating in accordance with its intended timeline.