Florida Health Care Association, representing nearly 700 nursing homes and assisted living facilities across Florida, issued the following statement in response to the recent announcement by Governor Ron DeSantis to prioritize long term care residents for COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Additionally, a December 1 decision by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a panel of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), includes long term care residents and staff in the first round “1a” of vaccine distribution.
The following statement is attributed to Emmett Reed, FHCA Executive Director:
“On behalf of the more than 70,000 long term care residents and 200,000 staff who Florida Health Care Association represents, we applaud Governor DeSantis for his ongoing leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. His commitment to prioritize our residents and caregivers for the first distribution of the COVID vaccine, combined with a similar decision by the CDC’s APIC, will provide another strong line of defense to protect Florida’s most vulnerable residents from this deadly virus.
We all recognize how challenging the pandemic has been for our long term caregivers, residents, and their families. We also know that a vaccine is the best path for returning to some sense of normalcy. We are optimistic about the plans to distribute and administer the vaccine quickly to our residents and staff. Nothing like this has ever been done before, but we believe the partnership that has been developed among our federal and state governments, CVS and Walgreens to vaccinate long term care residents and staff is the best approach to limit the spread of COVID and prevent further tragedies.
As the state prepares to implement the CDC’s recommendations for distributing the vaccine to long term care residents and staff, FHCA stands ready to do whatever we can to make this monumental endeavor as effective and seamless as possible.”
ABOUT THE FLORIDA HEALTH CARE ASSOCIATION
The Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) is a federation that serves nearly 1,000 members and represents more than 500 long-term care facilities that provide skilled nursing, post-acute and subacute care, short-term rehab, assisted living, and other services to the elderly and individuals with disabilities in Florida. The mission of FHCA is to advance the quality of services, image, professional development, and financial stability of its members. As Florida’s first and largest advocacy organization for long-term care providers and the elderly they serve, the Association has worked diligently since 1954 to assist its members with continuously improving quality of care and quality of life for the state’s growing elder care population. For more information about the Florida Health Care Association, visit http://www.fhca.org.