Older Woman Getting Covid Vaccine

Nursing Home Residents In The US Are Officially Receiving Their Covid-19 Vaccine’s

Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine has officially begun its initial distribution within the United States this week. Over 50 sites within the nation are expecting to receive their shipments by the end of the week, and while frontline healthcare workers are at the top of the list in terms of vaccination priority, so are vulnerable groups such as nursing home residents, who have been greatly impacted by this pandemic. 

Just days after the initial doses were distributed to the nation’s healthcare workers, nursing homes and other assisted living facilities began receiving their Covid-19 vaccine shipments as well. The US has endured over 306,000 Covid-19-related deaths at this point, and over a third of those deaths came from nursing home residents. 

Embed from Getty Images

Workers in West Virginia and Florida are going to be the first to receive their initial dose of the vaccine, as these areas have been massively impacted by the pandemic. Members of the military are also expected to receive their immunization as the rollouts continue. 

News outlets made sure to be there for the arrival of more than 4,800 Covid-19 vaccine doses at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. Once the vaccines got to the center the vials were immediately put in an extremely cold freezer and taken out in small batches to make that transitional process easier. 

Dr. Nate Kupperman was one of the first to receive his initial dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, a moment that he claimed to be extremely freeing. 

“With this immunization, I now know I will not die from this disease.”

Embed from Getty Images

The initial roll-out has come with its fair share of complications, however, including reports of a “glitch” that impacted certain vials in California and Alabama. The vials arrived too cold for the centers to process, so thousands of potential doses will be replaced to ensure that the vaccine remains effective. 

Other complications include some individuals experiencing allergic reactions to the vaccine. A middle-aged healthcare worker in Alaska with no previous history of allergies had an allergic reaction to the vaccine within 10 minutes of the injection. The Food and Drug Administration issued a statement this week that encouraged individuals with a history of severe allergic reactions/allergies in general to refrain from being vaccinated at this time. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert recently claimed that he’s hopeful Americans will take the vaccine when it becomes widely available to the general public. Fauci claimed that if a majority of Americans do receive the vaccine, “we will get a veil or an umbrella of herd immunity over the population that would dramatically diminish the dynamics of the outbreaks.” 

In the meantime, it’s imperative that everyone does their own part in keeping themselves, and their loved ones safe. Stay home as often as possible, wear a facial covering and social distance every time you need to go out.

Statue of Liberty with Mask

Governor Cuomo Provides New Yorkers With Covid-19 Update

Governor Andrew Cuomo has been working non-stop to provide New Yorkers with constant Covid-19 updates and policy changes to ensure that we all can return to a life of normalcy as quickly and safely as possible.

Covid-19 Nursing Home

Nursing Homes Want Immunity From Lawsuits Relating To Covid-19

Covid-19 has taken over the entire world, and it’s hitting the hardest in places that need to have close-corridor living. This is why the world sent home all student’s from college when this began, sharing a room is the opposite of what anyone should be doing right now; if they have the choice. This means that the virus-related death toll in places like nursing homes is exponentially greater than what it is for individuals able to live in their own homes, protected from the outside world. 

In the US specifically there have been around 12,000 deaths within the country’s nursing homes alone. As that death toll keeps climbing, these facilities are pushing the state governments that they reside in to provide them with legal immunity from lawsuits directed at the owners/employees of these homes. America has about 15,600 nursing homes for context. 

Embed from Getty Images

There have been six states so far that have granted their nursing home facilities complete immunity from coronavirus-related lawsuits, and six other states have begun enforcing legal protection policies as well for health care providers exclusively. It’s been quite the debate, however, as many individuals with loved ones in nursing homes don’t want these facilities to avoid being held accountable for any sort of neglect that they can pass off as “coronavirus-related.” 

“Most staff in nursing homes are doing the very best they can, under horrendous circumstances. But the combination of fewer rules, no family, no ombudsmen, no surveyors, no enforcement, more money and now industry efforts to get immunity from civil and criminal liability for anything related to coronavirus is a lethal combination in the hands of unscrupulous people,” said Toby Edelman, senior policy attorney for the Center for Medicare Advocacy, a group that advocates for nursing home residents.

Virginia, for example, is a state that already had legal provisions put in place for a pandemic situation such as this. Virginia has a policy known as “civil liability immunity” for all health care workers during emergencies. It’s difficult, however, to determine if these protections cover nursing homes as well because many states don’t consider these facilities to be “health care” related, legally speaking. 

Embed from Getty Images

Massachusetts and New York, two states that have also recently passed health care protection legislation, made sure to include policies that explicitly immunized nursing homes from lawsuits related to Covid-19. Beyond them, Connecticut, Georgia, Michigan, and New Jersey also created immunization policies specifically for nursing home workers. 

The “six other states that have begun enforcing legal protection policies” for health care workers haven’t distinguished if nursing homes are included in those protections. In Illinois and Arizona, for example, the executive orders that have been signed in the recent weeks do not specifically list nursing homes as a facility that’s protected from coronavirus-related lawsuits.

Louisiana, Wisconsin, and Kentucky also passed legal immunization for health care providers, but never mentioned nursing homes in the actual policy. Indiana has also passed a skeptical policy, however, they’re law grants “immunity to any facility that provides health care services by a [licensed] professional” in response to the COVID-19 emergency.

While it’s unclear as to whether some states will protect nursing home workers/facilities from Covid-19 related lawsuits, we do know that we have to keep all health care providers in our thoughts during this very difficult time. As Indiana stated, any facility that provides health care services by a professional, deserves all the resources and protections our government can provide during a pandemic, so let’s give it to them.