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COVID -19 Vaccinations Begin in Michigan Nursing Homes

Joneigh Khaldun.jpg
Dr. Joneigh Khaldun
Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services

From Crain's Detroit Business

Nursing homes in Michigan — where one in three COVID-19 deaths have occurred — began getting staff and residents vaccinated this week through the state's partnership with CVS and Walgreens chain pharmacies.

CVS and Walgreens are managing the administration and distribution of the Moderna vaccine to more than 5,000 long-term care facilities in Michigan, which have been hit hard by the virus.

AARP Michigan has repeatedly called for improved protections of residents and staff in nursing homes during the pandemic. AARP has published regular reports monitoring COVID-19 cases and deaths, PPE and staff shortages in long-term care facilities across the state. See the latest report here: https://states.aarp.org/michigan/aarp-mi-special-report
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And please see our vaccine distribution guide at: https://states.aarp.org/michigan/covid-19-vaccine-distribution

The arrival of the vaccine to nursing homes comes as Michigan's new cases of the virus continues to decline. On Monday, the state reported 3,239 new cases over a two-day period, lowering the seven-day average to 2,444.

The seven-day average number of new cases of COVID-19 has plummeted from a high of 7,270 on Nov. 21, three days after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration shut down bars, restaurants, movie theaters and other public-facing entertainment businesses in a bid to contain spread of the virus.

Hospitalizations for individuals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 have declined for 24 consecutive days, with 2,518 hospitalized as of Monday, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

COVID-19 has ravaged some nursing facilities in Michigan this year, accounting for 39 percent of Michigan's 12,089 deaths attributed to the virus since mid-March. There have been more than 37,000 cases of COVID-19 among residents and staff of long-term care facilities, amounting to 1 in every 13 infection among the 480,508 confirmed cases of the virus in Michigan to date, according to state data.

Homes for the aged, skilled nursing and adult foster care facilities have recorded 61 deaths to date among employees who contracted a COVID-19 infection; the total resident death count from the virus stands at 4,650, according to MDHHS.

"We know the residents of these facilities are at high-risk for severe illness and death from the virus, and early vaccination of both residents and those caring for them is critical to help protect this population," Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state's chief medical executive, said in a statement.

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