Vaccine distribution to long term care facilities still has long road ahead
BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Vaccines continue to be allocated according to the priorities set out by the U-S CDC.
”We’re making progress with the vaccinations, but we’re eager for it to pick up steam and move ahead.”
Rick Erb is the head of the Maine Health Care Association which represents over 90 nursing homes in the state and 135 assisted living facilities.
“Nursing homes are further ahead than assisted living. All of the nursing homes have either had their first clinic or are scheduled for it. Many are moving on to their second clinics.”
Every nursing home in the state will have had at least one vaccine clinic by the end of the month. They will then have to wait several weeks at least for a second dose.
For assisted living centers, the distribution is still spotty. He says some are waiting to hear from a pharmacy participating in the rollout while others have received doses of the vaccine.
Nearly 2000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine were reallocated away from Walgreens for use by hospitals in Lewiston after the Maine CDC determined they weren’t being used quickly enough, though it’s still unclear why.
“We don’t know if there were any rescheduled clinics, whether the uptake rate was lower than anticipated. We really don’t know the answer to that at this point. No one wants to see any vaccine go to waste, so it’s very important that it be reallocated if it’s not going to be used.”
The CDC is working with the Retail Pharmacy Program to obtain reliable updates on vaccinations at long-term care facilities.
They say they’ll include that information on the state’s COVID-19 webpage when it is available.
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