Raleigh nursing home partners with CVS to deliver COVID-19 vaccine to residents, staff
Posted December 11, 2020 5:30 p.m. EST
Updated December 11, 2020 6:16 p.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — More than 27,000 people in North Carolina have caught COVID-19 while living in nursing homes and residential care facilities.
That’s only about 7 percent of the 423,000 cases statewide, but the 2,780 deaths linked to nursing homes make up nearly 50 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the state.
Facilities are preparing now to give their precious population the vaccine — maybe even by Dec. 28.
That's the earliest date Ted Smith, CEO of Hillcrest Raleigh at Crabtree Valley, was told to start expecting doses.
"Any day or two, or week, or month that we can shave off getting this vaccine working is going to prevent deaths and save lives,” Smith said.
The federal government has partnered with CVS and Walgreens to vaccinate residents and staff at long-term care facilities.
Hillcrest Raleigh at Crabtree Valley chose CVS as their provider for 130 residents. They will get the vaccination on the same day as staff. CVS will return with a second dose about a month later.
The vaccine will not be required, although Smith said residents and staff would be encouraged to take it, and that all the same precautions at the site would be followed long after the second dose is given.
Residents can receive it in their rooms, while staff will get it in a special clinic on site.
“We are excited and anxious to be able to be among the first to show the country that this will be our way out of this crisis," Smith said.
North Carolina will keep track of who gets their first and second doses. If a resident is transferred or released from a nursing home between doses, the state says they will be able to get their second dose from a different provider.