Iowa nursing facility staff and residents will see the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arriving as soon as Dec. 28, now that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Pfizer’s request for emergency use authorization and vaccine shipments are arriving in Iowa. However, that does not mean it is yet safe to visit loved ones in Iowa nursing homes this holiday season.
The vaccine requires two doses be administered before it becomes fully effective, with a waiting period between doses of 21 days. The vaccine is being distributed to Iowa’s 430 nursing facilities through the federal LTC Pharmacy Partnership Program. The program utilizes three federally approved pharmacies to distribute and administer the vaccine: Community Pharmacy, CVS and Walgreens. The pharmacies are scheduling clinics across the state to deliver and administer the vaccine to the more than 25,500 nursing facility employees and over 19,000 residents.
The first of these clinics for long-term care will begin the week of Dec. 28th. It will take three to four weeks to administer the first dose to Iowa nursing facility residents and staff. The administration of the second dose is anticipated to begin Feb. 2 and run through early March. The first doses of the vaccine is expected to begin arriving in Jefferson County next week.