Vaccination for seniors in long-term care

Posted at 9:52 PM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 19:21:44-05

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Just about half of all long-term care facility residents in Florida have received the first round of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the state surgeon general.

He also says the numbers for the staff that cares for them is even lower.

The slow progress in getting our oldest neighbors and friends vaccinated is a concern of many.

A Southwest Florida man is begging to see more vaccines at local senior living centers.

"I'm glad it sounds like they have a plan, they have a strategy, and they're working it; okay, it's not fast enough." Jack Robinson, Estero resident.

The slow progress in getting our oldest neighbors and friends vaccinated is a concern of many.

"Florida has made the decision to put seniors first." Said Governor Ron DeSantis.

It's a DeSantis made early on when it came to the COVID-19 vaccine.

But "putting our seniors first" for those precious shots has proven to be a slow process, especially in senior living facilities.

It's a pace that's robbing Robinson of his peace of mind when it comes to visiting his 81-year-old mother at her assisted living facility.

"They scan you when you go to the door. Discovery village does the testing; you have to have your mask; they do your temperature, but you don't know if you're a carrier." Said Robinson.

Robinson says he's even cut back on visiting her at least until senior discovery Living can roll out vaccines for its residents and staff.

"My mother is 81 years old; she's got her issues, dementia late stage, there's other people with memory care. These are the high-risk seniors." Said Robinson.

Fox 4 reached out to Discovery Senior Living for answers.

Discovery Senior Living tells Fox 4 they're partnering with CVS pharmacies and were waiting for guidance:

Discovery Senior Living understands the urgency and has been patiently waiting for Discovery Village At The Forum to be contacted by our pharmacy partner CVS for our confirmed clinic dates. We are pleased to announce Discovery Village At The Forum received their dates and COVID-19 vaccine clinics are scheduled for Assisted Living & Memory Care residents on January 23rd, February 13th, and March 6th. Vaccines will be administered to all consenting Assisting Living and Memory Care residents free of charge. Discovery Village At The Forum looks forward to also receiving dates for all Independent Living residents.

CVS is also partnering with about eight thousand other facilities for vaccine rollouts nationwide.

"We've started vaccines in Florida facilities on December 21 and are hoping to wrap up our first vaccine doses by January 25," said a CVS Pharmacy spokesperson.

Robinson says he's grateful to hear some dates finally but adds that he'll believe the progress when he sees it.

"Hey, it sounds good, but I don't see it. Show me." Said Robinson.

Fox 4 also reached out to Walgreens, another major partner for assisted living facilities across the country and our state.

They released the following statement:

"Walgreens expects to complete the administration of COVID-19 vaccine first doses in skilled nursing facilities by Monday, Jan. 25. The company is also rapidly expanding access to vaccinations among assisted living facilities and additional vulnerable populations outlined by states and local jurisdictions as part of expanded distribution plans."