Senior homes stay careful, keep vaccines available


MADISON, Ala. – As COVID-19 mutates, the health community continues to emphasize the enhanced vulnerability of certain populations like the elderly.

“We’re certainly hopeful that as more people are educated about the vaccine and learn more that they will choose to take the vaccine,” Alabama Nursing Home Association spokesman John Matson said Wednesday when asked about when the new federally mandated vaccinations for nursing home workers go into effect.

“Once those regulations are released then we’ll have a better idea of what our path forward will be,” Matson said. “We will know the implementation date, (and) we should also know if there will be any exceptions.”

That rule won’t apply to assisted living centers like Madison at The Range in Madison, which is privately owned and reports only about a fourth of its mostly new staffers having their shots.

Madison at The Range’s Executive Director Deborah Elms said that will soon change, however, in part thanks to a visiting clinic that comes to them offering shots to residents, workers and their family members.

“It just made sense (to do), you know? Because they do come visit their residents, and there is a slim chance that even vaccinated, you can actually get the virus,” Elms said. “Eventually it’s probably going to get mandated, so why not get ahead of the curveball?”

ANHA said no facilities in the state have seen outbreaks like they had last year, and Madison at The Range currently reports zero positive cases of its residents.

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