The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living communities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, released the following statement in response to the decision by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a panel of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to include long term care residents and staff, including nursing homes and assisted living communities, for the first round “1a” of vaccine distribution.
The following statement is attributable to Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL:
“On behalf of our long term industry, we applaud the ACIP for prioritizing our residents and caregivers for the first distribution of the COVID vaccine.”
“More than 100,000 long term care residents have died from this virus in the U.S. and our nursing homes are now experiencing the worst outbreak of new cases since last spring with more than 2,000 residents succumbing to this virus each week.”
“Given the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread of this virus combined with the explosion of community spread across the U.S., we are extremely hopeful this vaccine will literally be a lifesaver for thousands of residents and expedite the reopening of our facilities to family members and loved ones.”
“Now it is up to the governors and state health agencies to implement these recommendations and ensure our long term care residents and staff are prioritized in the actual rollout of the vaccine to provide this protection as soon as possible.”
“The long term care industry, including nursing homes and assisted living communities, now call on governors from all 50 states to ensure long term care residents and staff are the first group to receive the vaccine within this initial Phase ‘1a’ distribution to save as many lives as possible.”
For more information please visit www.ahcancal.org/coronavirus.