HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Any day now, nursing homes across the state of Alabama will receive a vaccine for COVID-19. The goal is to vaccinate every employee and resident in a long-term care facility.
The Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program is a federal effort in which pharmacies take care of all the logistics and bring vaccines to nursing homes.
Senior Care Pharmacy in Northport, near Tuscaloosa, will vaccinate residents and workers in 70 Alabama nursing homes. Major drug stores like CVS and Walgreens will take care of the rest.
According to a spokesperson with the Alabama Nursing Home Association, there are roughly 30,000 employees working in nursing homes across the state and 24,000 residents.
With the roll out of vaccines beginning this week, everyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccine is expected to receive one.
“In terms to long-term care because it is a high priority it does appear that vaccine supply is going to be adequate to immunize residents,” said Doctor Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Roughly 4,000 Alabamians who work in long-term care facilities have been infected with COVID-19, twice as many residents’ have gotten sick and more than 12-hundred have died.
“That is a very fragile group of patients as well as a group of staff that requires very significant one on one very close care.”
Nationwide, nursing homes have been hit hard by the pandemic, representing more than 40% of the national death toll. Officials with CDC moved nursing home residents to the front of the vaccination line along with front line health care workers.
“Phase 1A is front line health care workers, persons at the highest risk of being exposed to COVID-19 and also persons rendering care directly in facilities such as hospitals. Of course, long-term care is also phase 1A.”
The drug store company CVS will eventually be able to administer 25 million vaccines per month to the general public.