ST. LOUIS — Missouri health officials said during Gov. Mike Parson’s briefing Wednesday that the state is one of the first to start administering the COVID-19 vaccine in long-term care facilities.
Nursing home residents and staff members are next on the vaccine roll-out agenda after health care workers, who began to receive their shots this week.
SRZ Management owns and operates 18 skilled nursing facilities in Missouri. Seven of the facilities are in the St. Louis area.
In a statement, SRZ Vice-President of Branding and Strategic Engagement Jen Ryan Galantowicz said the company anticipates receiving the first shipment of coronavirus vaccine in late December and will work to administer doses shortly thereafter.
“We’re one of the first states to start the vaccine in our long-term care facilities," Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services Director Dr. Randall Williams said during the briefing. "That is not affected by the Pfizer distribution; that’s a Moderna distribution. When you look at Missouri, 4% of our cases come from long-term facilities, but 43% of our mortality, sadly, comes from those. So, the governor green-lighted that and we’re moving on that very quickly.”
Parson added: “We are now well past the two-week mark since Thanksgiving, and we are thankful that Missourians did not experience a surge in cases following the holiday.”
SRZ officials said they are encouraging all residents and staff to be vaccinated. A second vaccine dose will is required approximately 28 days later.
Another long-term care facility, Delmar Gardens, said it also expects to have vaccines next month.
“It is our understanding that all senior care communities in our region have been designated to receive the Moderna vaccine for residents and staff vaccinations pending Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA later this week," Delmar Gardens Director of Clinical Services and Compliance Michele Blunt said in a statement.
"Our pharmacy partners have indicated that we may have our first vaccination clinics as early as the week of Dec. 28th. We will be prepared and thankful! Currently, we are campaigning for high participation and starting to obtain required consent from our dear residents and staff. We are grateful to be prioritized for vaccine distribution. We hope to have more specific information on clinic dates next week.”
Watch Parson's Wednesday briefing below: