BUFFALO, NY – New York State has received its initial delivery of 170,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer, Inc. and has begun vaccinating the first group of designated New Yorkers. Elderwood, with 28 senior care communities in New York State, has begun preparations to quickly and safely administer vaccinations in coordination with the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care (LTC) Program.

The state has announced that high-risk health care workers, nursing home residents, and nursing home staff are prioritized to be the first to receive the vaccine, followed by other long-term and congregate care staff and residents, and EMS and other health care workers.

Specific dates for vaccination clinics will be coordinated on a facility-by-facility basis with the retail pharmacies. “We are excited and encouraged by the arrival of a safe and effective vaccine against this dangerous and prolific virus,” said Becky Littler, RN, Chief Nursing Officer for Elderwood.

The CDC has partnered with CVS, Walgreens, and Managed Health Care Associates, Inc. to offer on-site COVID-19 vaccination services for residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout the United States.  That program, the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care (LTC) Program, will facilitate the safe vaccination of this critical patient population while reducing the burden on LTC facilities and health departments.  The program provides end-to-end management of the COVID-19 vaccination process, including cold chain management, on-site vaccinations, and fulfillment of reporting requirements.

As part of this program, Elderwood is working directly with Walgreens and CVS pharmacies to host vaccination clinics at its various facilities for our residents and staff.  All eligible residents and staff are encouraged to take the vaccination; however, it is not mandatory.  While the vaccination process is underway, all New Yorkers should continue to wear a mask, practice social distancing, and avoid small and large gatherings.