COVID-19 vaccine rollout to begin soon in Pennsylvania, New Jersey nursing homes

Residents at nursing homes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey will soon be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

You meet 95-year-old Priscilla Bangis once and it's no surprise that she's the resident council president at Wesley Enhanced Living Pennypack Park in Northeast Philly.

With that being said, she has strong feelings about a COVID-19 vaccine that could get her back to her pre-pandemic social life.

"I can't wait that's my feeling and that's the feeling of everybody we can't wait," she said.

"We want to be really prepared we're really anxious and we're really excited," Suzanne Lachman, executive director of Wesley Enhanced Living Pennypack Park, said.

Lachman says through the federal pharmacy partnership, CVS will not start distributing vaccines to Pennsylvania nursing homes and senior living facilities before Dec. 28.

Walgreens made the same announcement Monday.

Lachman says they were not given their specific clinic date yet, but have plans underway, including a conference room setup for staff with a pre and post vaccine waiting area and for residents.

"The CVS vaccination team will go room to room beside to bedside to vaccinate each one of those residents  in their own private setting," Lachman said.

"I haven't talked to anyone nervous about it truthfully we're all very anxious for it," Bangis explained.

In New Jersey, Commissioner Judith Persichilli said Monday they missed the deadline by a day in order to start vaccinating at nursing homes on the 21st due to making sure other facilities such as group homes and HUD senior housing could get into their system, so they will start the 28th as well.

"It was a decision made to give access and hope to those in need not the least among us but for those who should be the first," Persichilli said.

Vaccinations began around the country last week, mostly for health care workers.


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