ST. LOUIS — Missouri nursing homes will continue spreading good cheer after Christmas, with the first round of coronavirus vaccinations anticipated Monday.
"The squeaky wheel gets the grease, as far as I'm concerned," said Tim Dolan, founder of Dolan Memory Care Homes. "So we were real squeaky."
Dolan said he was very proactive to secure a place in line for the COVID-19 vaccine. Because of Missouri's tiered system, the Dolan independent living centers have been given a vaccination target date of Jan. 15.
In Missouri, each facility has partnered with CVS or Walgreens. Depending on the facility's license, the partner pharmacies will begin on-site vaccinations as early as Dec. 28.
In a letter to residents and their families Dec. 16, Delmar Gardens staff wrote, "We expect these clinic dates to be scheduled starting the week of December 28th, but of course, we will confirm exact dates after we have a definitive delivery schedule."
SRZ Management owns and operates 18 skilled nursing facilities in Missouri, with seven of those in the St. Louis area.
In a statement, SRZ Vice-President of Branding and Strategic Engagement Jen Ryan Galantowicz echoed the Delmar Gardens date, writing, "We anticipate receiving the first shipment at our facilities in late December, with the hope that it will contain enough doses to cover every resident desiring to be vaccinated. We will begin working with the pharmacy’s representatives to administer first doses to all interested residents and staff shortly thereafter."
Dolan said the voluntary vaccinations will allow them to reopen for visitation, which is crucial for the mental and emotional health of people with dementia.
"Sometimes the family members are in worse shape than our residents because they haven't seen their loved ones going on nine months now, 10 months, maybe by the time we get it all said and done. And it's frustrating for everybody."
Dolan said it is up to each resident - or their designated family members - if they will receive the vaccine. The partner pharmacies scheduled three site visits for the two-dose vaccine to allow for better coverage.