Anticipation is rising across the country as Americans await the COVID-19 vaccine and desire to build a new normal. As the nation prepares for the release, plans are beginning to fall into place to protect the most vulnerable populations.
As the number of cases encroach the twelve million mark, the national death toll holds stable below 3%. Long-term care settings made up only 8% of COVID-19 cases, but 45% of total Coronavirus deaths in the US, branding the LTC space as an extremely high priority for vaccine implementation.
Long-term care facilities had until November 6th to opt in or out of distribution via the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. The federal government partnered with Omnicare and PharMerica to administer the highly anticipated COVID-19 vaccine.
As described by the CDC, “the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care (LTC) Program provides end-to-end management of the COVID-19 vaccination process, including cold chain management, on-site vaccinations, and fulfillment of reporting requirements, to facilitate safe vaccination of this patient population, while reducing burden on long-term care facilities (LTCFs) and jurisdictional health departments. LTCF staff who have not received COVID-19 vaccine can also be vaccinated as part of the program.”
The plan allows facilities to select between receiving the vaccine and having it administered by CVS and Omnicare, Walgreens and PharMerica, their existing LTC pharmacy, or partnering with another entity, such as a hospital health care system.
This program, while highlighting the assumption that doses will likely be limited at the release of the vaccine, is intended to streamline the distribution process, and protect those who are most susceptible to the disease.
Still, concerns arose from many LTC facilities who felt they could provide better care for their patients by sourcing their vaccination plan with their preferred pharmacy. Under many circumstances, facilities believe their holistic treatment of the patients will be affected by the vaccination schedule, and potentially compromised.
The severity of the financial impact this program may have on smaller, less robust pharmacies is unknown as LTC facilities gravitate toward the governments recommended options.
With recent announcements on vaccine production, including the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, many people remain hopeful a vaccination will begin rolling out before the end of the year – potentially ending 2020 on a stronger note than it started.
But as the stress and tension from COVID-19 lingers across the LTC community, Right Way Medical continues to support customers with reliable products when they need them, so facilities can remain focused on creating success with their patients.
For additional information regarding our approach to supporting long-term care facilities, call 866.948.4191 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.