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Nursing homes prepare for COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Posted at 7:14 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 10:24:19-05

TULSA, Okla. — Nursing homes and long-term care facilities are outlined in phase one of the state’s coronavirus vaccine plan.

As a top priority group, many care facilities are preparing for an in-house mass vaccination among its residents.

“We’re ready to have that light at the end of the tunnel,” said Kimberly Green, Chief Operating Officer for Diakonos Group. “Our workers are tired and depressed and showing symptoms of PTSD at this point and there’s little hope other than this vaccine.”

That hope will soon become a reality as nursing homes across the country wait to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Walgreens and CVS will help administer the first doses.

“CVS and Walgreens have been extremely organized and their communication has been excellent,” Green said.

Nursing home administrators and pharmacies are now waiting for scheduled dates from the State Dept. of Health for when immunizations will happen. The Diakonos Group, which owns dozens of nursing facilities across the state, already received a message from Walgreen with a date-range between the 21st and 27th.

According to a new Gallup poll, 42% of Americans said they are unwilling to get a vaccine.

Meanwhile, Green said the majority of residents are willing to sign up.

“You have to remember the generation we’re taking care of. They’ve been through the Polio vaccine," she said. "So, they don’t have the same fear as some of their family members do. So, it’s really exciting to see how excited they are about this.”

In addition, the Diakonos Group has created an educational campaign to inform residents on the vaccine. To view the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Priority Population Framework, click here.

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