RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — For residents and staff at long-term care facilities, getting the COVID-19 vaccine has been a long-awaited moment.
At many long-term care facilities doses are being administer through a federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens, but not every facility in the state qualified for that program.
There are several reasons why facilities did not qualify. Some were too small, or others missed the deadline to sign up, officials say.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services sent county health departments lists in December of facilities they would need to provide vaccine to.
In Wake County, the health department was given a list of 214 locations, according to Ryan Jury, the Mass Vaccine Branch Director for the Wake County Health Department.
“Is this work that we had initially projected? It wasn’t initially in our plans, but there are many things that weren’t on a piece of paper as we planned for this vaccine over ten months. There’s been a lot of curveballs,” said Jury. “We’re excited to be able to provide vaccine to Wake County residents that are most vulnerable.”
Long term care facilities are not just senior living communities.
NCDHHS says adult care homes, assisted living, group homes, mental health group homes, continuing care retirements communities, and in-patient hospice facilities all fall into priority group one for vaccination.
The Orange County Health Department is administering doses to nine places that serve adults with mental disabilities, substance abuse facilities and a halfway house.
In Halifax County, the health department will vaccinate people in eight group homes.
The Chatham County Health Department gave 135 first doses to staff members and residents at two independent living facilities and one congregate setting.
While some counties will have people come to the health department for thier shot, others such as Wake County are sending teams to these facilities.
“It fit the mission of a local health department. We were the first in through this pandemic and we’ll be the last out,” said Jury.
Moore, Wilson, Hoke, and Harnett health departments say doses for all of the long-term care facilities in their counties were administered through the federal program.