Nearly 15,000 nursing home patients, employees have received first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

LDH: Nearly 15,000 La. nursing home residents, employees have been vaccinated

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Even as more of the general public in Louisiana is given access to the COVID-19 vaccinations, the job of vaccinating nursing home residents is not over. Nearly 15,000 nursing home residents and workers have so far received the coronavirus vaccine according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

LDH says nursing homes have three passes or opportunities to get their patients and staff members vaccinated.

Samantha Broussard is a registered nurse and Director of Clinical Operations for PMC, a company that owns and operates 16 skilled nursing facilities and two assisted-living facilities in Louisiana.

She was asked how vaccinations are going at PMC’s facilities.

“It’s going quite well. PMC has partnered with Walgreens and CVS and we have received great participation from our residents and our employees on our first round of COVID-vaccine clinics or at the first round of COVID-vaccine clinic,” said Broussard.

“We have had approximately 10 of our facilities currently receive their first round of COVID vaccines.”

LDH says as of January 14, Walgreens had administered 7,481 vaccinations to Louisiana nursing home residents and staffers and for CVS the number was 6,707. The federal government contracted with the pharmacies to administer vaccines to nursing home residents.

Broussard said at the PMC facilities the vaccinations are boosting spirits.

“I have been involved in the planning stages for the COVID vaccination administration and also I have been at multiple locations during the clinic; the energy is amazing, it’s exciting to see the employees and the residents feel like there’s some form of, it’s the end of the tunnel, it’s a very positive environment at every location,” she said.

Broussard was asked about the challenges that COVID-19 created.

“I will say that’s it’s been, it’s been difficult,” she said.

Broussard said there has been a lot of moving parts.

“We are trying to continuously stay on top of the changes, encourage our family members, educate our family members, keep them involved, try to think outside of the box to allow family members to see their loved ones,” she said.

At PMC facilities decisions about public visitations are based on what is happening COVID-wise.

“Currently, we are following the guidelines set forth by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. We are following the county positivity rates for visitation guidelines and we are either allowed to do indoor or outdoor visitations depending on the percentage, the increases of the COVID cases or if there’s currently a COVID outbreak in the facility,” said Broussard.

LDH says the first pass of vaccinations for nursing homes runs through the end of this month and the second and third pass stretch beyond that.

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