Nursing home, senior living and aging advocates are pushing the federal government to commit to allocating between 50,000 and 75,000 weekly COVID-19 doses to long-term care pharmacies enrolled in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care in a push to keep their top vaccine priority.
The American Health Care Association, LeadingAge, Argentum and the American Seniors Housing Association issued the plea in a letter to President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 response team last week. They also called on the administration to publicly prioritize vaccine allocations for all older adults who use long-term term services and supports. In addition, they wans provisions made for all providers, including those who serve homebound seniors.
“It is not enough to leave the allocation, access, and delivery decision-making to individual states. State health departments are understandably focused on more broad scale rollout of vaccines to all older people, and soon, all adults. We must not lose focus on the most vulnerable elders,” they urged.
The groups also requested direct allocation of vaccine doses to long-term care and other pharmacies enrolled in the Retail Pharmacy Program that are willing to offer onsite clinics to residential communities, including independent living and adult day health.
They also want the administration to make a public statement about its commitment to connecting homebound seniors and their caregivers to vaccines and publicly prioritize those the aging workforce for future shot allocations.
“For all of these yet-to-be vaccinated individuals and the staff who serve them, we seek continued federal policies that focus on their unique situations and their greater need. The federal government made a lot of progress with the Partnership. It’s essential to keep up the progress with these vulnerable, prioritized individuals,” the organizations wrote.
AHCA/National Center for Assisted Living also late last week called on U.S. governors to ensure their states keep long-term care pharmacies at the top of the list for the next phase of vaccinations.
“A steady, ongoing allocation of vaccines to long-term care will also help ensure we continue to build upon the progress we have already made in reducing COVID in long term care,” AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson said in a statement.