VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Georgia’s vaccine distribution has begun for nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
CVS and Walgreens have partnered with facilities and are already administering it around the state.
In South Georgia, staff at Fellowship Home have already started to receive the vaccine.
“I think it gives us a measure of hope that there is an end in sight to this pandemic and the restrictions that have been placed in the way we operate and the way our residents have been living for the last several months,” said John LaHood, the president and CEO of Fellowship Home.
Fellowship Home has several assisted living communities around Georgia and one in Florida.
LaHood said employees who want to get vaccinated have started receiving the shot in small groups through the Department of Public Health this week. He said the rest of the staff will be able to get vaccinated in January through a partnership with CVS.
“It’s been a very different year but we see hope around the corner and we are looking forward to a much brighter 2021,” said LaHood.
LaHood is hopeful they’ll begin administering to everyone else in January as well.
He said they still have visitor restrictions at their facilities, however, they’ve been able to provide safe ways for families to visit, but it’s still not the same.
“What we will do is send teams in, they’ll have full protective equipment, so full PPE, and have vaccines with them and go and vaccinate all the people who work in the long-term care facilities as well as all the people who have consented to have the vaccinations who are patients there. Then, we will go back again, and then again to get the second dose and make sure we capture anyone else who has come through the system up to that point. So, it will be a total of three visits to each long-term care facility,” said Troy Brennan, the executive vice president and chief medical officer for CVS Health.
A CVS Health spokesperson said vaccinations in long-term care facilities in Georgia began Monday.
There are 644 facilities across the state that have selected CVS Health as their partner.
The spokesperson said they expect to finish this vaccination effort in about 12 weeks.
A spokesperson for Pruitt Health said their Gainesville location started to vaccinate patients and employees Tuesday.
There has been no word yet on when the South Georgia location will be receiving it.
South Georgia Medical Center said it will start vaccinations at its nursing facility in January.