Federal health officials in recent days have urged broadening vaccine eligibility to tens of millions of Americans to speed the national inoculation program rollout. Meanwhile, seniors at some long-term care facilities, who account for about 1% of the U.S. population but 40% of COVID-19 deaths and were supposed to be at the front of the line, continue to wait.
State and local officials and long-term care operators in states including Florida, California, Arizona, Indiana, and Pennsylvania say they have turned to alternative providers for vaccinations for their residents or staff because the pharmacy chains were scheduling shots weeks out. Some 75,000 long-term care facilities signed up to receive vaccines from CVS Health Corp and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., under the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Pharmacy Partnership Program.
CVS said it plans to finish all shots at assigned facilities within nine to 12 weeks of the first dose. That means states like California, Florida, Arizona, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania, which were among the last to activate the second phase of facility vaccinations, may not be finished until April. The CDC said that 26% of the 4.7 million vaccine doses allocated for long-term care sites had been administered, lagging even the woeful 36% of the 30.6 million available nationwide.
If you are experiencing a delay in getting vaccines in your center, please continue to nudge the providers. It has been a difficult process for many however many others have breezed right through. We are here for you, if HealthCap can assist please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Stay the course, stay well, mask up, get vaccinated, and stay tuned!