The COVID-19 Vaccine: Where Are We Now?

syringe and vialsThe Moderna and Pfizer/ BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines have provided hope, particularly to senior care facility staff who are working to protect the vulnerable elderly population. With multiple efforts underway to ensure both seniors in long-term care facilities and those living independently are vaccinated, we are now starting to see the results of those initial vaccinations.

Data provided by the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living indicates that new weekly COVID-19 cases in nursing home residents declined by 22% from December 20 through January 10. Resident deaths have also declined during that time. As of February 19, 2021, the CDC reported that a total 78,152,495 COVID-19 vaccine doses had been distributed, with 59,585,043 of those doses having been administered.

CVS, as well as Walgreens and other select pharmacies, partnered with the CDC to help facilitate on-side long-term care facility resident and staff vaccination. More than 65,000 facilities enrolled in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program while sign-ups were open. Administration of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine began on December 21, while the Moderna vaccine began on December 28.

Omnicare, a CVS Health company, has reported significant and encouraging progress in its vaccination program. As of February 19, 2021, a total of 7,822 skilled nursing facilities had partnered with CVS. Of those facilities, all had completed their first dose clinics, and 98% of the second dose clinics had been completed. The first and second vaccine doses administered totaled 1,997,358. Facilities in New York, Georgia, Florida, Massachusetts, Oregon, and more had completed both clinics.

Omnicare also reported that a total of 37,958 assisted living and other long-term care facilities had partnered with CVS. As of February 19, 2021, 96% of the first vaccine dose clinics had been completed, and 60% of the second dose clinics were complete. A total of 1,754,444 doses had been administered, including first and second doses. Facilities in Chicago, Connecticut, Puerto Rico, Utah, and Wyoming had completed both clinics.

As of February 19, CVS Health/Omnicare have administered a total of 3,693,240 COVID-19 vaccines to skilled nursing, assisted living, and other long-term care facilities, helping to protect some of the most vulnerable Americans as well as the frontline healthcare workers who care for them.

States are designing their own vaccine programs in phases, and Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna have stated that they will each produce 200 million vaccine doses by the end of May, according to CNN. Additionally, the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine has just received emergency-use authorization, and the goal is to have 100 million doses available by the end of June. Moderna has also agreed to produce 100 million doses by the end of July, which would mean the United States could vaccinate its entire eligible population.

Significant progress has been made in vaccinating healthcare workers and senior care facility residents. With declining numbers of new COVID-19 infections and deaths in nursing home residents, we may already be seeing the effects of these vaccination efforts.

Topics: Clinical , Featured Articles , Infection control