Franklin Medical Center will receive 50 COVID-19 vaccines Wednesday while local nursing homes are hoping the inoculation will be delivered by year’s end.
The number is part of 39,000 doses in the first allocation from the federal government and about 40,000 the following week Louisiana will receive, announced Gov. John Bel Edwards Dec. 10.
Hospital workers and emergency medical service personnel will be first in line for the Pfizer vaccine, Edwards said. Residents and employees of nursing homes and assisted living centers will get the Moderna vaccine, which unlike the Pfizer option does not require ultra-cold storage.
FMC will be receiving the Pfizer option which requires an additional dose, Kramer said.
“We have more than 50 people who are willing to get the vaccine,” Kramer said. “We are working to get the first wave through and on that second allotment we have heard two weeks to four weeks from now. Everything right now is fluid.”
Plantation Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation of Winnsboro will be receiving the Moderna vaccine, said Keith Ferrington, administrator.
“We’re not anticipating this week but by the end of the year,” Ferrington said.
Currently, local nursing homes are sending out information to resident’s family and staff about the vaccination.
“We are informing our staff and our resident’s family about the vaccine so they can make an educated decision,” Ferrington said.
Chris Thornton, administrator of Legacy Nursing Home and Rehabilitation plans similar measures.
“We’re putting tables out with literature, so our staff can make educated decisions,” Thornton said. “We’re also talking with the residents’ families.”
In prioritizing vaccine distribution, Louisiana officials are following recommendations from the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Edwards expects to continue following ACIP guidelines going forward, though some adjustments may be made based on the state’s hospital patient population.
Though state officials have been preparing to distribute COVID-19 vaccines since the spring, they will have to make adjustments because “there are so many moving parts,” Edwards said.
Kramer said he had been in a Monday call-in meeting with Edwards and the Louisiana Hospital Association on topics concerning the vaccinations.
“They said they were producing as much as they can and rolling it out as quickly as they can,” Kramer said. “But, because this is ground up, they are essentially prioritizing where they go to first and have no idea when it will be available to the general public.”
In his Dec. 10 conference, Edwards said vaccines will not be broadly available for several months.