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Louisiana nursing homes expected to start receiving coronavirus vaccines this week

Columbus Health Department administers nearly 200 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
Columbus Health Department administers nearly 200 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine((Source: WTVM))
Updated: Dec. 27, 2020 at 10:25 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - There’s a new sign of hope for the people across Louisiana who the coronavirus has impacted the most.

“We see this vaccine as just another way we can combat this virus,” said Brandee Patrick, a spokeswoman for the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs

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Starting Monday, residents and staff of nursing homes and long-term care facilities will get the opportunity to receive Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.

“We’re so thankful and grateful that Governor Edwards saw to make our receipt of these vaccines a priority for our five veterans’ homes,” said Patrick.

Louisiana received more than 79,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine last week and 35,000 of those doses were set aside for the state’s most vulnerable.

“All Louisiana nursing homes signed onto a partnership between the federal government, CVS and Walgreens that calls for pharmacy workers to administer the vaccine in long-term care facilities,” said a spokesperson with LDH.

“Every dose of vaccine that we get in Louisiana, we will be ready to use it,” said Dr. Joe Kanter with the LDH.

Brandee Patrick says on Monday clinics will begin giving out the first dose of the vaccine at some of their facilities.

“In Monroe and Jennings, they are working with CVS, Wednesday, reserve will have a clinic, a vaccination with Walgreens, and in all of those clinics, we will offer the vaccine to residents and our staff,” said Patrick.

The coronavirus has killed more than 2,000 residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the state out of Louisiana’s total death toll of nearly 7300 people.

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“This death toll is higher than the number of deaths caused by accidents, strokes [and] diabetes combined in Louisiana in 2017,” said Gov. Edwards.

Capital Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Baton Rouge talk about their vaccine distribution plan a few days ago.

“With a vaccine the chances of getting to see their loved ones sooner than later is much greater because of the vaccine. I feel real encouraged about this coming down the pike and I hope that’s gonna help our residents and their families reunite,” said Todd Ford, the Licensed Administrator for the Capital Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Even 77-year-old Wayne Hoffman, who’s lived at the facility for six years, knows taking the vaccine brings him one step closer to seeing his family.

“I am excited about the vaccine. One reason being is that when we all get the vaccine we’ll be able to leave and have more freedom in this place,” said Hoffman.

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