LTC vaccine

Long-term Care Residents Start Receiving COVID-19 Vaccines

Today, the first long-term care facility residents in the state received COVID-19 vaccines. The inoculations began this morning at the Roosevelt Care Center in Old Bridge where 103-year-old Mildred Clements, who was born one year before the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918, was the first patient to receive the vaccine. Additionally, Nurse Esther Moodey was the first staff member at Roosevelt to receive the vaccine.

The vaccinations are being administered pursuant to the Federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), CVS and Walgreens.

New Jersey has 291 long-term care facilities scheduled through the program, with more than 83,000 residents and staff slated to receive vaccinations through the beginning of February 2021, with more sites to be added in the coming weeks.

“Long-term care facilities across New Jersey and the entire nation have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “Over the past nine months, we have paid an incredible cost, but today is another positive step forward in our fight against this virus.

“New Jersey’s comprehensive and inclusive vaccination plan prioritizes individuals living in high-risk, congregate settings, such as nursing homes, veterans homes, and assisted living residences. We are incredibly grateful to CVS and Walgreens for their work with the Federal Pharmacy Partnership program to ensure that we have the resources to vaccinate and protect our most vulnerable populations,” he said.

At today’s COVID-19 press briefing, the governor said that CVS has already coordinated and scheduled visits to 277 long-term care centers. By the end of this week, the pharmacy chain is expected to visit 85 centers and provide more than 27,600 vaccines. Meanwhile, Walgreens is scheduled to visit 23 long-term care facilities and administer more than 4,100 vaccine doses.

Providing up-to-date information on the vaccine roll-out, State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said New Jersey has been allocated more than 405,000 vaccine doses during the month of December. Of that, 120,000 doses have been reserved for long-term care facilities, and 280,000 doses have been reserved for hospitals and community sites (with 220,425 doses already delivered with the remainder expected to be delivered at the end of this week).

So far, 46,217 vaccines have been administered in the state, according to Persichilli, with more than 44% of the 55,000 Pfizer vaccine doses allocated to hospitals administered from Dec. 14 to Dec. 21.

Stimulus Bill and Unemployment Benefits

Governor Murphy said he was relieved that President Trump signed the $900-billion COVID-19 stimulus bill, but his delay in doing so may mean that an estimated half-a-million New Jerseyans will “not be receiving vital federal unemployment benefits this week because they had lapsed on Saturday while the bill languished on [Trump’s] desk.”

“The New Jersey Department of Labor is working to implement these benefits, but the actual timing for them to be resolved and received will be made in Washington. NJDOL Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo is waiting for guidance from the US Dept. of Labor,” Murphy said.

“For many families across New Jersey, this delay was a failure,” Murphy said. “The bill should have been signed immediately as a down payment, with further assistance taken up. … Hopefully it will be.”

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