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Nursing homes could see vaccine soon

Pharmacies could administer the COVID-19 vaccine to nursing home residents and staff members shortly after Christmas, Alabama Nursing Home Association director of communications John Matson said.

“So we’re very hopeful that timeline holds out because it would be certainly good news, and a nice welcome gift around Christmastime for the vaccine to be available,” Matson said.

Matson says 229 Alabama nursing homes have signed onto a federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens to have the vaccine administered.

He said Alabama is expected to receive 52,000 doses of the vaccine in the next several weeks for nursing home residents and staff members.

“The federal government estimates that will be enough doses to administer the vaccine to everyone that lives and works in a nursing home and wants the vaccine,” Matson said.

He said there is not a set date on when every nursing home resident and staff member will be able to receive the vaccine. It will be a very fluid situation as pharmacies work to set up shop at hundreds of nursing homes across Alabama.

“There’s a lot of logistics to work out as they literally go to every single county in the state,” he said.

The state nursing home association says they need to wait on the federal government before they can relax visitation restrictions.