Residents in additional than 17,000 California long-term care services have been purported to be among the many first to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine below the state’s distribution plan, however information from the California Division of Public Well being (CDPH), CVS and Walgreens present most assisted-living properties haven’t but had a vaccination clinic, and about half nonetheless don’t actually have a clinic scheduled, prompting fears that hundreds extra residents will die earlier than vaccination efforts are full.
In a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom’s workplace dated Jan. 18, a coalition of organizations representing California counties and county well being officers laid out the hurdles they are saying they’re dealing with through the vaccine rollout, together with sluggish progress on the state’s long-term care services.
“Where doses would have otherwise flowed directly to the state to allocate, instead is allocated by the federal government to CVS and Walgreens to vaccinate long-term care and other congregate living facilities,” the letter acknowledged. “To date, very few doses have been administered by those entities, and local health jurisdictions and individual providers have in some cases stepped in and used their allocated doses for this population to prevent more illness and death.”
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The letter was signed by representatives from the California State Affiliation of Counties, City Counties of California, and the County Well being Executives Affiliation of California, amongst others.
Their suggestions embrace:
- County entry to detailed pharmacy vaccination information
- A quicker and extra predictable circulate of vaccines to county well being departments
- Enhancements to the state’s vaccination reporting system, which they are saying is resulting in information lags
- And extra accountability for the pharmacies and long-term care services taking part in vaccination efforts.
CVS has partnered with 15,000 long-term care services in California and says about 15% have had their first vaccination clinic. Walgreens has partnered with 2,109 services and have had clinics for about 26%.
And in keeping with a database from CDPH obtained by NBC Bay Space’s Investigative Unit, about half of all long-term care services taking part within the federal program stay unscheduled for his or her first vaccination clinic. That’s down from the numbers reported by the state on Jan. 10, which confirmed greater than 80% of services didn’t have a vaccination clinic date.
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Whereas nearly the entire state’s expert nursing services enrolled within the federal Pharmacy Partnership Program have had a minimum of one vaccination clinic, it’s turning into more and more clear that getting photographs to residents within the state’s assisted dwelling services might be an extended effort.
The CDPH information reveals solely about half of the state’s assisted-living services have a vaccination clinic date on the calendar. And even for those who do, it is going to be a minimum of April earlier than many residents get their second shot, in keeping with the info.
CVS says services want a complete of three visits to finish the vaccination course of for his or her residents. The primary, to manage the primary dose. The second, to manage the second shot. And the third, to manage second photographs to any resident who bought their first shot through the second clinic.
With out entry to detailed information from the Pharmacy Partnership Program, county representatives say they don’t know when and the place to step in if long-term care vaccinations are shifting too slowly.
“You cannot attack a public health and logistics challenge blindfolded,” mentioned Graham Knaus, Government Director of California State Affiliation of Counties. “You have to have complete information about who’s doing what in the community. And that has not been true for the beginning part of our vaccination effort.”
CVS mentioned in an announcement that vaccination efforts are on schedule and the criticism of the Pharmacy Partnership Program from county representatives and long-term care facility watchdogs is unwarranted.
“Criticism of our long-term care vaccination program in the letter from certain California county executives is misinformed and not accurate,” a spokesperson for CVS mentioned in an announcement. “The state activated skilled-nursing services on Dec. 28 and we’ll end administering the primary doses for all 499 of those California services that selected to accomplice with CVS Pharmacy by Jan. 25. California activated assisted-living and different long-term care services on Jan. 11, and over the approaching week we’ll full first doses in almost 40% of those extra 14,557 California services that partnered with us. “
Walgreens didn’t reply to our request for remark.
The California Division of Public Well being mentioned it’s constructing a vaccine dashboard that may present county degree information on vaccines shipped and administered however didn’t say when it is going to be obtainable.