Florida contracts private company to help with COVID-19 vaccine rollout at long-term care facilities

ORLANDO, Fla. — Records show the state of Florida has hired a private company to help distribute COVID-19 vaccines at long-term care facilities in the state.

Florida initially authorized the distribution of the vaccine to assisted living facilities on December 29, but CVS Pharmacy didn’t start making headway administering the doses until this week, only vaccinating slightly more than 6% of the facilities with which they’re partnered.

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That’s why the state says they called on CDR Maguire- the same company that’s been involved in COVID testing- to help with the vaccines.

Veronica Catoe is the CEO of the Florida Assisted Living Association, which represents more than 650 facilities.

Catoe says she’s pleased the state has brought in a company to help speed up the process.

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“It has been stressful,” Catoe says. “They’ve stepped up and done something, and that’s what we were asking for.”

The state sent a letter to assisted living facilities saying CDR Health will vaccinate facilities that are not scheduled for their initial vaccine clinic through CVS or Walgreens on or before Jan. 23.

CDR Maguire says they’ve been contracted to administer the vaccines in 1,900 facilities, which they started Monday.

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However, CDR Maguire says they’re not starting their vaccinations in Central Florida, and the state hasn’t said when they might.

“I can’t imagine being that senior or that loved one,” Catoe says. “They’re looking at this as hope. The quicker mom can get the vaccine or dad can get the vaccine, then we can start reliving our lives.”

Catoe says the state has set a goal of getting the first doses of the vaccine to every assisted living facility by Jan. 31.