Assisted living facilities question why residents still don't have COVID-19 vaccines

Some assisted living facilities had expected their residents to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by now, but many are still waiting for the vaccines. The state is now working to try to make the process go faster. 

For several weeks, FOX 35 News has been looking for answers as to why Gracious Age Assisted Living Facility was not on the schedule to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but the owner found out Thursday that their residents will be getting the vaccine on January 24 and 28. 

The owner of Gracious Age Assisted Living Facility believes nursing homes and long term care facilities were not made a priority for the COVID-19 vaccine, especially as the vaccine has been open to seniors in the general public. Gov. Ron DeSantis had previously said long-term care facilities would be the first priority and hoped to have them vaccinated by January. 

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"Right now, just very worried and frustrated at this point because basically everything that was promised to us is not happening," said the owner of Gracious Age Carvis Carlos. "The pace of the vaccination is going. I don’t think we’re prioritized at this point."

CVS and Walgreens are distributing the vaccine to nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Florida. CVS began vaccinating nursing homes at the end of December and moved on to assisted living facilities on Monday. 

On Thursday, Somerby Senior Living Lake Nona had its staff and nearly all of its residents vaccinated by CVS. 

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"Our residents are the highest at risk. And they want to get back to normal and reconnecting with their loved ones," said Misty Travis the Executive Director at Somerby Lake Nona. 

The state is now partnering with CDR to speed up the process. The company says they were hired to help vaccinate any assisted living facility that CVS and Walgreens had scheduled on or after January 24. 

CVS Health said in a statement: 

"Our effort to administer the vaccine to Florida’s long-term care community has been going according to plan, and in close coordination with the state."

Walgreens did not respond to our request for comment Thursday night. 

Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.