Sanford, Fla. - Many assisted living facilities in Florida are waiting for the COVID-19 vaccine, even though they were promised to be a top priority.
Gracious Age Assisted Living Facility is waiting for the COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed to its residents.
"The longer we have to wait, we could be in danger," said Gracious Age resident Charlie Reyes.
"They have the vaccine ready, they have everything in place. I don’t understand why we haven’t gotten it yet."
The owner of Gracious Age, Carviz Carlos, says they've been waiting on a schedule from CVS on when it will be their turn to get the COVID-19 vaccine. CVS and Walgreens administering the vaccine to both nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
"Everything is still up in the air, we’re in a state of confusion, frustration, and desperation," said Carlos.
Gov. Ron DeSantis had previously said nursing homes and assisted living facilities would be the first to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Carlos says he doesn't feel assisted living facilities were prioritized, especially as the vaccine has opened up to the general public 65 years and older.
"I was very happy, very hopeful but as the months' progress without any kind of scheduling that hope is kind of extinguished," said Carlos.
CVS Health started vaccinating skilled nursing home facilities on Dec. 21 and has administered the first dose to 387 Florida facilities so far. Vaccination at assisted living facilities have not started yet, that begins on Monday.
"We’re dealing with a vulnerable population that requires onsite and, in some cases, in-room visits at facilities with fewer than 100 residents on average," said Larry J. Merlo, the President and Chief Executive Officer of CVS Health in a statement.
Residents at Gracious Age Assisted Living Facility are hoping they're able to get the vaccine soon.
"It’s absolutely essential that we have it," said Reyes.
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