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VA home residents to receive COVID-19 vaccinations

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Residents at Alabama’s four state veterans homes will receive COVID-19 vaccinations beginning Tuesday.

The arrival of the vaccine is a bright spot amid a record-setting surge in COVID-19 cases. Alabama ranked sixth in the United States for the most new cases per capita in the past 14 days

Alabama’s vaccine plan has prioritized frontline medical workers and residents and employees of long-term care facilities for the first allotments of the vaccine. Health care workers began receiving vaccinations last week. State Health Officer Scott Harris said last week that vaccinations were to be begin at long-term care facilities this week under a partnership with pharmacies.

A record 2,800 people were in state hospitals Monday with COVID-19, roughly 1,200 more than were hospitalized in mid-summer.

The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs said in a news release that the first immunizations of the Pfizer vaccine will be administered to residents and staff at the Bill Nichols State Veterans Home in Alexander City on Tuesday. Vaccinations will continue over the next two-weeks at the other three homes.

“For several weeks our health care team has worked with the Alabama Department of Public Health … in scheduling the vaccinations for our veteran-residents and staff,” said Kent Davis, state commissioner of veterans affairs.

Residents and staff of long-term care facilities in Alabama are vaccinated through the Federal Pharmacy Program in cooperation with CVS and Walgreens pharmacies. The health care provider for the state veterans homes, Health Management Resources of Alabama, INC., has partnered with Walgreens to administer the two-dose Pfizer vaccine.

More than 347,000 people in Alabama have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began and more than 4,700 people have died.

The virus causes only mild or moderate in most people, but it can be deadly for older people and those with underlying health problems.

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