Image of male nurse pushing senior woman in a wheelchair in nursing facility

California ­– Public health officials in California’s Los Angeles County in December pulled long-term care facilities out of the federal COVID-19 vaccination program. The aim was to provide the medication to workers and residents earlier, and give facilities more flexibility in how it was administered. 

Officials with Los Angeles County added that the change would “support both quicker vaccination and higher vaccination coverage” than the federal government’s partnership program with pharmacy chains CVS Health and Walgreens, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. 

They added that the move will allow facilities to vaccinate people without having to wait to schedule a visit from the pharmacy retailers and to alternate when shots are given, according to the report. 

The move was a surprise to providers, according to the California Association of Health Facilities. The group said that there are both pros and cons to the decision. 

There are concerns about operational issues, as facilities will now have to take over documentation and other requirements, instead of outsourcing the process, according to re authors.

 On the flip side, the change “will allow facilities to stagger the delivery of the vaccine, avoiding a scenario where everyone is experiencing side effects at one time,” the spokeswoman told the news agency.