Vaccine Delay for Long-Term Care Facilities in Mesa County

Local News

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX)- Long-term care facility residents and their staff are part of the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, but in Mesa County, these residents and staff are still waiting on a vaccination.

The Centers for Disease Control is partnering with big chain pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens to administer COVID-19 vaccines to long-term care facilities. As Colorado continues to vaccinate frontline health care workers and move into another vaccination phase, Gov. Jared Polis says the state is closely monitoring the federal vaccine rollout for long-term care facilities.

“We are on them, we want to make sure they meet their timelines,” Polis said. “We’ve asked if they need any state assistance to do so.”

At a Wednesday news conference, the governor said this federal vaccination effort should be done in Colorado by the end of this month.

“Walgreens estimates that they will have completed administering the first dose in the nursing homes and skilled living facilities that have chosen them by next week. CVS estimates they will be done at the end of January.”

Polis also expressed frustration at the news conference that the state doesn’t have more control over distributing vaccines to assisted living facilities and nursing homes. The director of Capella Assisted Living in Grand Junction says her facility doesn’t have a set date yet on when the vaccine will arrive. She says the vaccine can’t come soon enough.

“We had hoped that we would see them by mid-December” said Joni Karp, Executive Director of Capella “We’re just sitting on ‘go.’ We’re waiting for a date.”

Karp says her facility will be getting its vaccine from a local Walgreens location.

“They will be responsible for receiving, storing, distributing and administering the vaccine to our community.”

But she says last her team heard, Capella won’t get word of when Walgreens might be coming by Monday of next week.

“Families are waiting, residents are anxious,” Karp said. “We want to do everything we can to get our life back to some kind of normal.”

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