We want to get back to normal: Long-term care sites start to get vaccine – KCRA Sacramento

The coronavirus vaccine started rolling out Monday to residents and workers at California’s long-term care facilities as part of a federal pharmacy partnership program.CVS and Walgreens are two big pharmacies operating in Northern California that are part of this partnership that will start administering doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at facilities in the coming days and weeks.Fifteen-thousand of California’s skilled nursing and assisted living facilities started to receive doses of the vaccine for their residents and staff through CVS. This is welcome news to two local, long-term care facilities that are working with the pharmacy to set up clinics at their sites.“We’re all just excited; we want to get back to normal,” said Sita Vadarevu, the executive director at Twin Rivers At Natomas Assisted Living.According to CVS Health’s Joe Fiesel, long-term care facilities just like Vadarevu’s, had an opportunity either to use CVS Health or Walgreens, or they could have opted out and used a state program to get vaccines for residents and staff. CVS told KCRA many long-term care facilities opted-in.This light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel is seen as a relief to local long-term care sites.“To be at the top of the list, to know that it’s coming, it’s exciting; it gives us hope,” said Michelle Swearingen, general manager at The Woodlake, a Leisure Care Community in Sacramento. “A lot of the residents have been fearful for a long time.”Vadarevu said all of her staff and residents are “on-board” with getting the vaccine, although she said there have been lots of questions.“It’s been about 50-50. Everybody’s excited. Obviously, a lot of them are also apprehensive, ‘Is it enough?’ ‘Are we going to be okay?’ Because also it’s new,” she explained.Vadarevu said the process of securing vaccines for her residents and staff has been streamlined and there’s been a lot of communication between the facility, CVS and the Department of Social Services.“You have to be able to process all that information and be ready when it’s your turn,” Vadarevu said.For The Woodlake, an assisted living community and memory care facility, the vaccine symbolizes hope for residents who’ve been first to get vaccines in the past and the staff members who now care for them.“Our residents have been pioneers this whole time through all of the vaccinations. Through polio and TB,” Swearingen said. “With that encouragement and hope, they’ve pioneered all the vaccines and this one they’re gonna do just the same.”Neither The Woodlake nor Twin Rivers At Natomas Assisted Living has an exact date for when CVS Health clinicians will be at their sites to administer the vaccine. Both said they’re ready for when CVS gives them the word about the dates their residents and staff will start getting shots and subsequent boosters.

The coronavirus vaccine started rolling out Monday to residents and workers at California’s long-term care facilities as part of a federal pharmacy partnership program.

CVS and Walgreens are two big pharmacies operating in Northern California that are part of this partnership that will start administering doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at facilities in the coming days and weeks.

Fifteen-thousand of California’s skilled nursing and assisted living facilities started to receive doses of the vaccine for their residents and staff through CVS. This is welcome news to two local, long-term care facilities that are working with the pharmacy to set up clinics at their sites.

“We’re all just excited; we want to get back to normal,” said Sita Vadarevu, the executive director at Twin Rivers At Natomas Assisted Living.

According to CVS Health’s Joe Fiesel, long-term care facilities just like Vadarevu’s, had an opportunity either to use CVS Health or Walgreens, or they could have opted out and used a state program to get vaccines for residents and staff. CVS told KCRA many long-term care facilities opted-in.

This light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel is seen as a relief to local long-term care sites.

“To be at the top of the list, to know that it’s coming, it’s exciting; it gives us hope,” said Michelle Swearingen, general manager at The Woodlake, a Leisure Care Community in Sacramento. “A lot of the residents have been fearful for a long time.”

Vadarevu said all of her staff and residents are “on-board” with getting the vaccine, although she said there have been lots of questions.

“It’s been about 50-50. Everybody’s excited. Obviously, a lot of them are also apprehensive, [asking] ‘Is it enough?’ ‘Are we going to be okay?’ Because also it’s new,” she explained.

Vadarevu said the process of securing vaccines for her residents and staff has been streamlined and there’s been a lot of communication between the facility, CVS and the Department of Social Services.

“You have to be able to process all that information and be ready when it’s your turn,” Vadarevu said.

For The Woodlake, an assisted living community and memory care facility, the vaccine symbolizes hope for residents who’ve been first to get vaccines in the past and the staff members who now care for them.

“Our residents have been pioneers this whole time through all of the vaccinations. Through polio and TB,” Swearingen said. “With that encouragement and hope, they’ve pioneered all the vaccines and this one they’re gonna do just the same.”

Neither The Woodlake nor Twin Rivers At Natomas Assisted Living has an exact date for when CVS Health clinicians will be at their sites to administer the vaccine. Both said they’re ready for when CVS gives them the word about the dates their residents and staff will start getting shots and subsequent boosters.