TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Officials are hopeful on-site vaccinations beginning next month will stop the toll of COVID-19 at long-term care facilities.
The effort comes just in time as deaths among nursing home residents continue to trend upward in Tippecanoe County.
Deaths nearly tripled in December from ten to at least 29, accounting for more than a fourth of all 80 COVID-19 deaths in Tippecanoe County.
The following facilities have reported COVID-19 deaths among residents:
- Signature Healthcare: six deaths.
- Rosewalk Village: six deaths.
- Westminster Village: five deaths.
- University Place: four deaths.
- The Springs of Lafayette: three deaths.
- Aster Place: two deaths.
- Cumberland Pointe: two deaths.
- Creasy Springs: one death
CVS Health this week began vaccinating nursing home residents and staff across Indiana, says Sarah Edington, district leader for CVS Health.
"In the state of Indiana, we have 1,000 skilled nursing facilities that we'll be visiting with the potential to vaccinate 140,000 patients between the skilled nursing and assisted living facilities," she says.
Indiana Veterans' Home is one of many local long-term care facilities partnering with CVS Health to provide on-site vaccinations next month.
One-hundred and forty residents and many staff will be vaccinated on Jan. 12, says Indiana Veterans' Home Superintendent Joy Grow.
"I would say we're on the front line of this and I know a lot of the employees are just tired, it's been a long year," she says. "This certainly is momentous. It's providing a lot of hope that we're finally getting to the end."
Statements from long-term care facilities across Tippecanoe County indicate the first round of vaccinations will begin in early January and continue for the rest of the month.
Edington says CVS in Indiana will administer Moderna's version of the vaccine. As News 18 previously reported, local health officials say the Moderna vaccine requires less intense refrigeration than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and is better suited for on-site applications.
"It's critical. It's the first step to vaccinating America," Edington says. "We're starting with this really vulnerable population and making sure the staff who goes home at night and comes back is vaccinated so not to bring in any COVID-19 into the facility."
The general public will be able to schedule vaccinations at CVS locations nationwide as early as this spring.