American Health Care Association is the nation’s largest nursing home association. President and CEO Mark Parkinson is the leader. He assumes that all U.S. nursing home residents will be vaccinated by the March 1 target date. This should be able to be done now that Biden has implemented a plan. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory board recommended long-term care be given top priority for the COVID-19 vaccine.
The population in long-term care communities are about 2 million to 3 million of the country’s overall population. However, data shows that coronavirus-related deaths in long-term care account for nearly 40% of overall COVID deaths in the U.S.
“If we can just get our act together and figure out how to get all of these people vaccinated, in a very short period of time we can cut the COVID death rate dramatically,” Parkinson said.
Parkinson also addressed criticism about the overall vaccine program including the amount of distributed doses compared to administered doses. He warned that it “would be a massive error if the second round of vaccine was taken away from long-term care facilities to use in the general population.” McMaster did just that a few weeks ago.