Where is the vaccine for Assisted Care Facility residents and staff?
There have been a lot of questions regarding where Assisted Care Facilities (ACF) are in the line to receive the COVID vaccine and as this evolves in real-time, we have been sharing information with you as we receive it. We thought it would be helpful for families to know that your questions and concerns are being addressed at the state level – where there is more ability to effect change and forward momentum on this issue.
Empires State Association of Assisted Living (ESAAL) our advocacy organization, has been updating us as they monitor what is happening on the ground with the NYS vaccine deployment and have been pushing to receive more clarification from the DOH. Along with their government relations team at Hinman Straub, ESAAL continues to ask the Department of Health where facilities like The Inn are in line for the vaccine. While they have begun seeing some small signs of movement, very few member organizations(including Menorah Park) have a scheduled date from their pharmacy to begin the vaccination process.
Some of what is affecting the deployment:
- Differences in the Pfizer and Moderna supply
- Shortages in Pfizer vaccine which was identified by NYS as the vaccine for nursing homes and assisted living facilities
- State versus Federal programs
- Other congregate care settings are being prioritized for vaccines over ACFs.
Much of the delay is beyond our control because of the shortage in supply, especially the Pfizer vaccine which is the one NYS has planned to use for ACFs and nursing homes. However, ESAAL is doing everything in its power to make sure that ACFs do not fall through the cracks. They have had discussions with senior officials in Governor Cuomo’s office and one of the ideas that they are proposing is not to wait until the pharmacies come to your building to vaccinate residents and staff. Rather, the vaccine should be made available now to your staff who can get vaccinated at local hospitals or clinics. That should be happening NOW.
Vaccination priorities Op-ed ESAAL Executive Director, Lisa Newcomb’s Op-Ed which was released statewide this morning.
ESAAL will continue to closely monitor for movement over the next couple of days and if necessary, they will take further advocacy steps.
Empire State Association of Assisted Living (ESAAL) is a not-for-profit organization that has been dedicated to strengthening New York State’s assisted living network and promoting the best interests of providers and residents since 1979. ESAAL is the only association that exclusively represents the assisted living provider network, serving more than 300 licensed Assisted Living Residences, Adult Homes, and Enriched Housing Programs throughout New York State. These member residences are home to more than 28,000 seniors.
Learn more here.