Belmont Gardens residents to receive COVID vaccine
During the COVID-19 pandemic, seniors have been the most vulnerable.
The push to get the vaccine out to them has been a top priority and, on Friday, residents at Belmont Gardens, a licensed personal care home, will receive the first of the two doses that will give them an added layer of protection they need from the virus.
Dr. Dan Edney, who is a doctor at Medical Associates of Vicksburg and who has served on the governor’s COVID-19 task force, said the vaccines residents will be receiving at Belmont Gardens are separate from those the general public has been receiving.
“These vaccines are from the Long Term Care Vaccination Program,” he said, which is a program designed by the Federal Government.
“The government contracted with Walgreens and CVS to vaccinate all the nursing homes,” he said. “The government actually assigned a single dose for every nursing home resident and every employee. So the nursing homes have been waiting for those two entities to go and vaccinate the residents.”
The rollout by CVS and Walgreens has not been as speedy as one would have hoped, Edney said. A lack of manpower has slowed distribution.
“They have been using pharmacists who have their state licenses to give the vaccine and there are not that many of them. What they (the government) should have done was like with the flu shot — let the nursing homes have the staff that could have administered the shot give it,” he said. “We should have had the nursing homes vaccinated back in November.”
While there have been delays in vaccinating those who live in extended living facilities, Edney said, by Friday, all the local nursing homes should be caught up with their vaccines.
Edney said the nursing home and assisted living residents at Heritage House were vaccinated a week or so ago.
“We’re getting there,” he said.