Teams of Walgreens, CVS and Community Pharmacy employees began deploying Covid vaccinations Monday to the people who live and work in Iowa nursing homes, but it will be some time before the tens of thousands of shots are administered in all of Iowa’s long term care settings.
“We haven’t heard from Walgreens yet on a date for when they will be available for us here at Sunrise,” says Hallie Salmen, executive director of the Sunrise Retirement Community in Sioux City. “We’ve confirmed with them how many vaccines we need for residents in our long term are facility and our staff members and I’ve confirmed that more than once with them, but I’m supposed to be hearing this week, sometime.”
More than 250 doses of Covid vaccine are needed just for the nursing home residents and staff at the Sioux City facility. Federal officials are letting vaccination teams give shots to people in assisted living, if they’re on the same property as a facility that provides nursing care, but Salmen isn’t sure what Walgreens plans to do in Sioux City.
“I’ve confirmed the numbers for the other parts of our campus,” Salmen says. “So our assisted living and our independent living — I’ve confirmed those, but they don’t have a time frame yet for when they’ll be doing vaccinations in other levels of congregate care.”
There are active Covid outbreaks at 124 Iowa nursing homes according to the state’s coronavirus tracking website. Thirty percent of the Iowans who’ve died of Covid this year were residents of a long term care facility.
(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)