Some long term care facilities are still waiting on vaccines

Mary Queen of Angels Assisted Living
Posted at 6:51 PM, Jan 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 19:51:58-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Some long term care facilities in Middle Tennessee are still waiting to receive their COVID-19 doses, as several counties move forward with vaccinating people in lower priority groups.

One of those facilities is Mary Queen of Hearts Assisted Living in West Nashville.

"We’ve been on the list since October," said Catholic Diocese of Nashville Director of Communications Rick Musacchio. "We have reached out several times and remain in contact with them, encouraging them to expedite the delivery of vaccines here at Mary Queen of Angels."

So why are counties moving on when the top of the priority list is still waiting? Long term care facilities are getting their vaccines through a CDC program, instead of the county health departments. The CDC program partners care facilities with local pharmacies, like CVS and Walgreens, who come into the facilities and vaccinate patients.

The Catholic Diocese of Nashville, who runs Mary Queen of Angels. tells NewsChannel 5 they're scheduled to receive doses from CVS on February 3rd.

"Everyone has to understand that this is a government-driven and CDC and state health department driven process and we simply have to rely on those entities to provide the vaccine so they can be administered here at this facility," he said.

But this was expected. On the CDC's website, they say long term care facility vaccinations will take "approximately two months from the date of the first vaccination clinic."

"Once it’s in the hands of the vendor, they’re in control of the process, driven by supply availability and such," said Musacchio.

Even after facilities receive both doses of the vaccine, the doors won't fly back open to visitors. That could still take several more months. "You know, I think that’s all going to be driven by the community spread within the Nashville area for this facility," said Musacchio.

The Diocese says they'll rely on state and local authorities to decide when visitors are safe to return.