DENVER (CBS4) – Long-term care facility residents and employees are among the first to receive the first round of coronavirus vaccines in Colorado. However, they are unlikely to be given for another week or more.
As part of a program by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, facilities work with a participating pharmacy, mainly CVS and Walgreens, to oversee patient distribution and delivery from start to finish, following strict guidelines, including consent a few days before each clinic.
It had been a long 10 months for employees at the Holly Heights Care Center in Denver – they worked every day to protect their residents and themselves from the virus.
“It was really difficult when COVID started. Emotionally traumatic, physically traumatic, we didn’t have PPE. We couldn’t get any tests done and the tests would take 10 days if we received them, ”said Janet Snipes, Executive Director.
On Monday, she says, they’ll have more equipment, more guidance and new hope on their side.
“Vaccination is really going to be a game changer,” said Snipes.
However, logistically, administering the vaccine has its own challenges. The center’s partner pharmacy, Walgreens, has provided them with a long list of guidelines to help them prepare. However, the fast rollout means a lot of work in a short time.
“We need to have a vaccination period for each resident and for those who are bedridden. The person with Walgreens giving the vaccine has to go to bed. “
Long before they get to that point, there is a lot of information that those who want the vaccine must know and agree to.
“The declaration of consent is great. We need a declaration of consent, not just a signature, but in any case they need to understand what they are getting, “said Snipes.
Other providers navigate to a separate problem with these forms.
According to Cindy Longfellow of Juniper Communities, consent must be in the hands of the pharmacy 10 days before each clinic. In an email, she says if this is the case it is unlikely that anyone of senior age would be eligible before December 21st.
CBS News spoke to former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on Sunday after learning of a delay.
“It’s a very costly delay, there are currently 50,000 new infections in nursing homes every week, probably more than that,” he said.
Snipes says whatever date it will be their first step back to normal, a day to look forward to.
“I hope we can go back to joint activities in the catering industry and get the residents out of the rooms and visitors here, who are the life of an institution, and we need that happiness here,” she said.