SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR) — Most nursing homes in Onondaga County have gotten their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but assisted living facilities are also in the first phase of the vaccination plan in New York State and they weren’t even scheduled for those clinics until this week.
The plan to vaccinate those in nursing homes and assisted living facilities is controlled by the federal government. So when that wasn’t moving fast enough, state and local leaders reached out to speed that process up.
Just last week, places like Peregrine Senior Living at Onondaga Hill in Onondaga County weren’t even on the schedule for a vaccination clinic. Now, they’ll be getting their shots in two weeks. Someone from Walgreens will be coming to vaccinate 133 residents and staff who signed up for that clinic. The residents at the facility had to get approval from family members and doctors first.
So far, none of the residents at Peregrine have tested positive for COVID-19. The executive director says that’s due to the vigilance of everyone who works there. And though they can’t wait to get their vaccines, they are patiently waiting for their turn.
“We’ve got millions of people that need to be vaccinated. If you just look at the people that are in the priority in New York state, it’s over two million people. And that can’t happen overnight,” said Robert Collins, Executive Director at Peregrine Senior Living at Onondaga Hill.
Collins says after the first clinic, two more will be set up in February and March. He says Walgreens has already sent them the plan for how it is going to work and in the meantime, they’ll work on messaging to encourage everyone to get their shots, including those who work there.