Massachusetts Senior Care Association launches COVID-19 vaccine education program, 1st shots expected week of Dec. 28


PUBLISHED: December 18, 2020 at 8:49 p.m. 

A coronavirus vaccine education campaign is getting underway in senior care facilities across the state with nursing homes in line to receive their first shots shortly after Christmas.

Baker administration officials said this week that vaccinations will begin in long-term care facilities during the week of Dec. 28. CVS and Walgreens pharmacies will run the vaccination program through a federal partnership under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The doses for nursing homes will come from the state’s second allotment of the Pfizer vaccine.

Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders also said Friday that the state was extending the list of authorized vaccinators to include emergency medical technicians, emergency services personnel, nursing and medical students.

With vaccines soon coming to the facilities that have long borne the brunt of the coronavirus in the Bay State, the Massachusetts Senior Care Association, which represents more than 350 nursing and long-term care centers, announced Friday it’s launching an awareness campaign encouraging people to roll up their sleeves.

The “Arming Ourselves Against COVID-19” campaign aims to distribute information about the safety and efficacy of authorized coronavirus vaccines to workers and residents of long-term care facilities through posters, letters and other means.

Massachusetts Senior Care Association President Tara Gregorio said residents, their families and caregivers are “extremely grateful to state and federal public health officials for continuing to prioritize the protection of residents and staff in nursing homes, assisted living, and rest home residents.”

“It is important to educate our frontline staff, residents and their families on the efficacy and safety of the vaccine to further protect our vulnerable residents and their dedicated caregivers,” Gregorio said in a statement. “It is our hope that the tools we are providing will give people the confidence they need to get vaccinated.”