Why West Virginia’s Winning the Race to Get COVID-19 Vaccine Into Arms
Nearly two weeks before most states started vaccinating anyone in nursing homes, pharmacist Gretchen Garofoli went to a long-term care facility in Morgantown, W.Va.,on Dec. 15 and administered one of the first COVID-19 vaccinations in the state.
“Psychologically, yes, it was a beacon of hope,” she says.
So far, West Virginia is outpacing the rest of the country. Having delivered vaccine to health workers and completed a first round of shots at all its long-term care facilities, the state is now administering second doses and moving on to other populations, including people age 80 and over, and teachers who are 50 and older.
States eager to speed up the process should take note of the gubernatorial leadership in states such as West Virginia and Connecticut that are doing relatively well, says Mark Parkinson, CEO of the American Health Care Association, a long-term care trade group and a former governor of Kansas.