SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego nursing homes and long-term care facilities (LTCF) are ramping back up as they prepare to distribute the COVID-19 booster shots.
LTCFs and retirement communities were among the first on the list to receive the vaccine back in December and January.
"Our staff or our seniors who got the vaccine in December, of course, they are now nine months out and so they’re very excited to think about getting a booster,” Cheryl Wilson, CEO of St. Paul's Senior Services, said.
On September 20, anyone fully vaccinated will be able to receive a booster shot to gain extra protection against COVID-19.
Wilson said they plan to roll out the Pfizer vaccine. They hope to partner with CVS again to help administer the shots.
“We had very good coverage right out of the box,” she said.
Wilson said they’ve been pretty successful keeping the virus at bay.
Ninety-eight percent of their residents are fully vaccinated and eighty-six percent of staff.
But the delta variant is causing new concerns.
Through coronavirus tests conducted each week, a few people tested positive.
“These people who have been vaccinated are not getting sick, they’re not having symptoms, but they are positive,” Wilson said.
When it comes to distributing the booster shots, it’s no small feat.
The network serves around 1700 residents and 650 staff members.
Wilson said the biggest challenges are getting the shot to hundreds of homebound seniors along with the cost of the rollout.
“We think the same thing will happen this time where we will not have to pay for the vaccine, but we do have to pay for the syringes, the nurses' time, you know, everything else that goes along with it," Wilson said.
St. Paul will also require all of its staff members to be fully vaccinated as mandated by the Biden Administration.
If someone is unable to get the shot, they’ll be provided with special face masks, gloves, and gowns to not only protect themselves but those they care for.
“The delta variant is out there and we are watching it very closely," Wilson said. "We do not want any of our seniors to get sick and certainly not end up in the hospital.”