COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Has Reportedly Been Slow Inside Nursing Homes.
USA Today (1/8, Weintraub, Leys) reports “nursing homes have been slow to roll out COVID-19 vaccines, but federal, pharmacy and nursing home officials said they are on track to finish the job before the end of the month.” Roughly “16% of vaccines distributed for use in nursing homes have been injected into residents and the staff who care for them, according to data from the” CDC. However, HHS “Secretary Alex Azar said those figures underestimate actual vaccinations, because there is a lag between the time shots are given and when they are recorded.” He also “said the pace of vaccination has been slowed by the need to get consent forms from residents or their family members, but he expects vaccination rates to speed up soon.”
Kansas Expects To Finish Giving Vaccinations To Nursing Home Residents, Health Workers By End Of Month.
The AP (1/7, Hollingsworth, Hanna) reports that Kansas “expects to finish giving COVID-19 vaccines to long-term care residents and health care workers by the end of this month and has moved people aged 65 and older into the next group to receive the shots.” Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly on Thursday “announced new details about the order in which her state’s residents will be eligible for inoculations, and making people aged 65 to 74 years an earlier priority was the biggest shift.”
Florida Senator Calls For Congressional Probe Into Nursing Home That Allegedly Gave COVID-19 Vaccines To Wealthy Donors.
Politico (1/7, Fineout, Sarkissian) reports that Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) on Thursday “called for a congressional investigation into what he called ‘vaccine distribution mismanagement,’ following multiple reports that a West Palm Beach nursing home and assisted-living facility steered highly sought after vaccine shots to its board members and major donors.” Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) already “has been under fire for the bumpy rollout of vaccinations in Florida due to the Republican governor’s insistence that those 65 or older be among the first to get inoculated with one of the Covid-19 vaccines.” But Scott’s “decision to wade into the controversy, even in a limited fashion, marks yet another instance in which the former Florida governor and his successor in Tallahassee have taken shots – some of them subtle, some of them not so subtle – at each other.”
Fox News (1/7, Phillips) reports that in calling for the investigation, Scott described the nursing home’s actions “absolutely disgusting.”
Vaccine Rollout In Nursing Homes Slowed By Hesitancy, Fewer Residents.
The Wall Street Journal (1/6, Terlep, Subscription Publication) reports that CVS Health said that vaccine hesitancy is slowing down distribution of COVID vaccine doses to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The company said rollout numbers were also lower because facilities overestimated numbers of residents by up to 30%.
Reuters (1/6, Roy) reports CVS and Walgreens announced that they expect to finish first doses of coronavirus vaccines at US nursing homes by January 25. The two companies “are currently administering the vaccine in long-term care facilities in 49 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.”
CNBC (1/6, Feuer, Repko) reports CVS said Wednesday it’s in discussions with several state leaders “to make a limited number of doses available in the coming weeks in advance of the broader rollout.”
Some States Starting To Vaccinate More Than Healthcare Workers, Nursing Home Residents For COVID-19.
CNN (1/6, Christensen) reports “the US coronavirus vaccine rollout has been slow, and some states eager to move more doses are beginning to vaccinate more than the health care workers and nursing home residents initially at the front of the line.” A number of “states are taking steps to speed things up.” For example, “in Montana on Tuesday, Gov. Greg Gianforte shifted some Covid-19 vaccination policies ‘effective immediately’ to include people 70 and older and those 16 to 69 with specific conditions.” On Tuesday, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams “urged states to quickly move on to additional priority groups.” Meanwhile, HHS “Secretary Alex Azar said Wednesday that he has been encouraging governors to move ahead and use ‘every bit’ of the vaccine.”
Just 7,400 COVID-19 Vaccine Shots Have Been Administered To Minnesota Nursing Home Residents, Workers In Past Week.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune (1/6, Serres, Howatt) reports “only 7,400 COVID-19 vaccine shots have been given to residents and workers at Minnesota nursing homes in the past week despite a targeted campaign that gave them first priority for vaccinations.” The state’s “slow pace has stemmed from bottlenecks in the patchwork distribution system, particularly with the large pharmacy chains that were tapped by the federal government to deliver the shots in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.” Walgreens and CVS Health “lacked the technicians to administer the vaccines quickly, which has resulted in unexpectedly long waits for the shots to arrive.”
Roughly 35 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Expire After Ohio Nursing Home Inaccurately Estimated Amount Needed.
The Cincinnati Enquirer (1/6, Balmert) reports roughly “35 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine expired after a southern Ohio nursing home overestimated the number needed and left pharmacists scrambling to get shots into arms.” The facility “in Lawrence County at the southern tip of Ohio requested too many COVID-19 vaccines from pharmacy partner Walgreens.” After vaccinating “staff and residents there, the pharmacy had about 195 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine or 39 vials left over, said Dan Tierney, a spokesman for Gov. Mike DeWine.” The Walgreens “pharmacy reallocated 13 vials to other long-term care facilities and distributed 19 vials to residents 65 years and older and Walgreens pharmacy employees.”
The Hill (January 6)
CVS is on track to finish giving the first of three rounds of COVID-19 shots in nursing homes across the country by Jan. 25, the company said Wednesday. The Trump administration is partnering with CVS and Walgreens to inoculate nursing home residents and staff against the coronavirus. The campaign launched Dec. 21, and is now underway in 49 states and the District of Columbia.