Plans to distribute boosters at care facilities unclear – News 13 Orlando

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — After Friday’s decision by the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to authorize COVID-19 booster shots for millions of Americans, many seniors and people living in long-term care facilities will be eligible to get a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

It is unclear, though, how fast that will happen.

What You Need To Know

  •  The CDC authorized COVID-19 booster shots for millions of Americans Friday

  •  While many seniors in long-term care facilities will be eligible, there is not currently a plan to get the booster shots to them

  • Data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows that dozens of people die of COVID-19 in Florida nursing homes every week

Data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows deaths from coronavirus in nursing homes across Florida appears to have peaked about a month ago with 83 nursing home deaths in one week. But data from earlier this month still shows dozens of nursing home deaths continue to happen every week due to COVID-19.

Kristen Knapp, a spokesperson for the Florida Health Care Association — which represents care facilities across the state — said she doesn’t don’t know of any plans yet to get booster shots to large numbers of facility residents. 

Those facilities, she said, are having ongoing conversations with their long-term care pharmacies, but there’s not a specific plan as of yet.

Kurt Hanley-Woodbridge, a resident of a nursing home in Kissimmee, said he wants to get the booster shot so he can remain guarded against the virus. He got his first and second shots back in January, and wants state and local governments to lead an effort to administer the shots to facilities like they did when the vaccine first became available.

“They gave the nurses and the CNAs — they gave them the vaccine first — and then two days later they gave residents vaccines,” said Hanley-Woodbridge. “It should be the same way with the booster.”

Bennett Napier, executive director of Florida Life Care Residents Association — which works to ensure quality of life of residents in retirement communities —  said he expects community providers will roll out administration of the booster shot much like they did back in December and January when facilities were able to get a majority of their residents vaccinated in a short period of time.

Napier said senior communities throughout Florida could have booster shot clinics as early as the first week of October.