Over the past few weeks, stead production of the COVID-19 vaccine has kept close to manufacturer predictions. Amid the scramble of distribution concerns, healthcare profesionals continue to make recommendations and identify high priority recipients.
Long, Cold Winter
Amid other concerns, many long term care facilities throughout the country are bracing for harsh winter conditions. Temperatures are excepted to be below normal, and precipitation is anticipated to be above average in many regions. The ramifications for first responders and other healthcare workers could be very serious. Forced double shifts and the stress of operating in an understaffed facility cause exhaustion. The resulting compromised immune systems and continued close quarters could potentially spike new COVID cases.
Priority Vaccine Schedules
Federal and local officials created a loose and overarching plan for distribution of vaccines. Despite a few hiccups and unknowns, most communities agreed that assisted living centers and long term care facilities should be among the first to receive the vaccine. Higher age groups and those at higher risk of hospitalization are also in the first wave slated to receive priority vaccination. Centers for Disease Control (CDC)offered plans to rollout vaccine implementations in phases.
State and Local Impact
Like other initiatives planned at a high levels, logistics in the COVID vaccine have faced obstacles. Some of the fault lies at the hands of distribution transportation flaws. Securing vehicles with the proper security and temperature control levels has proven to be harder than expected. In other cases, individual state officials veered from the phased plan outlined by the CDC.
Despite the potential delays, many potential recipients are still eagerly awaiting the doses coming their way. Residents in a long term care facility outside Baltimore have expressed hope that they will be among recipients in the next round of deliveries. Healthcare Administrators in Homestead Health Center in Wichita, Kansas echo these sentiments.
Timely delivery is vital to prevention of future outbreaks. Many facilities are biding their time and doing little more than hoping to make it through the Winter season without an increase in positive COVID cases. As more research is conducted and additional vaccines are released, the outlook remains positive. Help is on the way, and not a moment to soon for healthcare professionals.