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Nursing homes await COVID-19 vaccine

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Lincoln Parish nursing homes are awaiting word from Walgreens as to when residents will get to receive their first injections of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Spokespeople for two of the three local long-term care facilities said Monday they expect their clinic dates to be within the next few weeks.

Ruston Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Executive Director Casy Spatafora said facilities have to get consent before residents can be vaccinated.

“It’s up to the families and residents if they want it. I think we will have more get (vaccinated) than not,” she said.

Princeton Place Administrator Angie Smith predicted a “good many” of her facility’s residents will also take the two-shot inoculation.

All of the state’s nursing homes have signed a partnership between the federal government, CVS and Walgreens that calls for pharmacy workers to administer the injections. There are no local CVS pharmacies.

Louisiana has set aside 35,000 of the 79,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine it received last week for the state’s most vulnerable. Some facilities are expected to receive their doses this week.

According to the most recent figures released by the Louisiana Department of Health, 24 Lincoln Parish nursing home residents have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic hit Louisiana in March.

Some 162 cases of the respiratory illness have been reported among residents of the three local nursing facilities. The majority of those cases have originated at the facilities, LDH reports.

COVID-19 has killed more than 2,000 residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities across Louisiana out of the state’s confirmed death toll of 6,980 people.