About 60% of nursing home staff declined Covid vaccines, Walgreens exec says

Many Americans have logged on to web sites earlier than dawn, waited in lengthy strains and pushed hours to get Covid vaccines.

Yet in nursing houses, many individuals have reacted the alternative technique to vaccination alternatives: About 60% of staff at long-term care services declined the pictures, mentioned Rick Gates, Walgreens senior vp of pharmacy and well being care. He mentioned about 20% of residents declined the vaccines.

“We were seeing vaccine hesitancy — particularly among those that work in these facilities — that was higher than we expected,” he mentioned at CNBC’s Healthy Returns digital occasion on Tuesday.

Walgreens and CVS Health had been chosen by the federal authorities to manage vaccines to residents and staff at 1000’s of long-term care services throughout the nation. Nursing home and assisted dwelling residents had been on the high of the precedence listing, together with health-care staff, as a result of they’ve had a disproportionate quantity of Covid-19 outbreaks and deaths.

The declined vaccines point out one other problem that the nation will face, significantly as pharmacies and group clinics get extra doses of the shot: persuading the bulk of Americans to get the lifesaving vaccine, which is able to assist defend the broader public and permit the financial system to step by step return to a point of normalcy.

Gates mentioned extra vaccine doses from long-term care services had been in the end returned to the states or given to different high-priority individuals.

Starting Friday, Walgreens will provide vaccines in some shops in 15 states, together with the cities of Chicago and New York, as half of a federal pharmacy program. It will administer the vaccines to precedence teams at these shops, corresponding to older Americans or individuals with medical situations.

Gates mentioned the pharmacy chain appears to be like ahead to taking up a much bigger function within the vaccination effort however that “vaccine availability is the biggest hindrance.” He mentioned he expects doses to be extra broadly out there for most people throughout all of Walgreens’ shops in late March or early April.

Judy Druin is vaccinated by pharmacist Joe Borge in Danvers, MA on Feb. 1, 2021. On the primary day of Phase 2 of the COVID-19 rollout, seniors, 75 and over, get vaccinated within the Walgreens Pharmacy, at 107 High Street, in Danvers.

Pat Greenhouse | Boston Globe | Getty Images

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