WCCHD to Vaccinate 200 Long-Term Care Facility Residents and Staff

January 8, 2021 - Making sure long-term care facility (LTCF) residents can receive COVID19 vaccination will help save the lives of those who are most at risk of dying from COVID19. The communal nature of LTCFs and the population served (generally older adults often with underlying medical conditions) puts facility residents at increased risk of infection and severe illness from COVID-19 and placed them in the Phase 1A Priority Vaccination Group designated by the Texas Department of State Health Services. There have been 77 clusters investigated in Williamson County LTCFs since the beginning of the pandemic.

A federal initiative, the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care program, has contracted with the drugstore chains CVS and Walgreens to provide and administer the COVID-19 vaccines at no cost to some long-term care residents and staff at approximately 50 LTCFs in the county. The remaining facilities that were not able to register with the federal program will be a priority group to be vaccinated by WCCHD with any future shipments of vaccine. The DSHS Week 4 allocation of 200 doses received by WCCHD will be administered starting Jan. 11. Vaccinations are voluntary.

“Taking care of our most fragile residents has been our top priority since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Dr. Lori Palazzo, MD, WCCHD Medical Director and Health Authority. “While the vaccine is a light at the end of the tunnel for these residents, the focus must remain on rigorous infection-control practices. We are looking forward to the day when families can be reunited and visit their loved ones.”

According to DSHS, Texas is still in the “limited supply” phase and some providers may not have vaccines available yet. Individuals wishing to get the COVID-19 vaccine who are in Phase 1A or Phase 1B should contact the provider they normally receive their vaccines from to learn about their process. However, those in Phase 1B should be aware that they may not be able to receive the vaccine until additional supply is available in our community.