Carson City’s nursing home and assisted-living residents and staff could soon start getting the COVID-19 vaccination.
“It is supposed to happen next week. They said they were doing skilled nursing facilities first,” said Eric Mager, executive director, Skyline Estates Senior Living & Memory Care. “We went with CVS.”
Mager said the facility’s entire staff and all but one of its 79 residents were planning on taking the vaccine.
CVS and Walgreens are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide vaccinations inside long-term care facilities nationwide.
Both national pharmacy chains are administering vaccines in Nevada, but neither business provided details about locations.
“States and facilities are continuing to finalize their plans on an ongoing, and sometimes daily basis. We are activating vaccinations as those plans are finalized. We cannot provide specific numbers or locations at this time,” said Walgreens’ spokeswoman Kelli Teno.
Several local skilled nursing facilities did not return calls to verify if vaccinations were being administered this week.
Walgreens launched its vaccine program the week of Dec. 21 in about 800 facilities in 12 states, including Nevada. CVS began vaccinating 22,000 patients with the Pfizer Inc. vaccine at 250 skilled nursing and assisted living facilities in Nevada the same week.
By Tuesday, Carson City Health and Human Services expected to have vaccinated about 1,000 tier 1 individuals, according to Jessica Rapp, CCHHS public information officer.
Those tier 1 individuals include emergency medical, fire and sheriff’s office personnel as well as public health and pharmacy workers and outpatient healthcare providers such as dentists.
The vaccinations are voluntary and individuals schedule the appointments themselves.
“Each organization has a point of contact that our vaccine coordinator has been working with. The point of contact then shares the scheduling process with their staff members. All vaccinations are voluntary,” said Rapp. “Under an emergency use authorization, a vaccine cannot be mandated. It is the individual’s choice to receive the vaccine or not. CCHHS is just simply offering the vaccine.”
Rapp said she did not know when tier 1 vaccinations would be completed or when the next tier could start to receive the vaccine.
The next tier includes education and childcare staff, public transportation workers, and essential retail personnel.
Carson Tahoe Health’s vaccine program for its staff is ongoing.
“We have vaccinated close to 800 employees and providers so far with more scheduled this week,” said Diane Rush, director, Marketing & Communications, and public information officer at CTH. “We plan to begin the second round of shots to those who received the first dose sometime next week.”
As of Monday, there were 2,477 active COVID-19 cases in Carson City. The city has reported 8.4 cases per 100 residents, the highest level in the state, according to the Nevada COVID-19 Task Force. Washoe County is second with 7.4 cases per 100 residents.