Partnership program vaccinates critical populations at long-term care facilities.

Wisconsin is currently operating in phase 1a of its vaccination plan with doses restricted to only the most vulnerable populations. Image courtesy of the CDC, public domain.

Author: Jessica Gregory

The elderly and staff at long-term care (LTC) facilities in Wisconsin will receive Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Gov. Evers announced Monday afternoon that through the Pharmacy Partnership Program of Long-Term Care, residents and staff can be vaccinated on-site and at no cost. The program is a private-public effort that pairs Walgreens and CVS with long-term care facilities to manage and administer the vaccine.

In November, long-term facilities requested pharmacy partners after signing up for the program. The Center for Disease Control then reassigned or confirmed the pairs, allowing the pharmacy provider to schedule vaccination dates at the LTC facilities. 

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), older adults are at the highest risk for experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms that can lead to hospitalizations and even death. Eighty percent of deaths from the coronavirus were individuals 65 years or older. Adults above the age of 85 are 630 times more likely to die from the coronavirus than the 18-29 age group. 

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services selected the Moderna vaccine to be distributed to nursing homes with over 50,000 doses readily available to the participating pharmacies. Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine was authorized for emergency use in the United States on Dec. 18, 2020 by the Food and Drug Administration. 

Andrea Palm, Wisconsin DHS Secretary-designee, acknowledged COVID-19’s significant adverse impact on nursing home residents and staff. “That is why we coordinated with our federal partners and proactively reserved enough vaccine doses to advance this important program to protect some of our most vulnerable residents,” Palm said.

Vaccinating residents and staff at long-term care facilities through the Pharmacy Partnership Program is expected to last for two months.