Nursing homes across New Jersey eagerly await COVID-19 vaccines
A number of nursing homes across New Jersey are still waiting to receive shipments of COVID-19 vaccines.
So far, 8,000 nursing home patients have received the vaccine. However, there are 17,000 long-term facilities in New Jersey.
Atlas Rehab and Healthcare in Maywood currently has five cases of COVID-19 among its residents and five within the staff. There’s a total of 200 people at the center and all are waiting to get vaccinated, which may take another week and a half.
“The hope was we get it as early as possible and I know some facilities have started receiving it,” says Phil Bak, the founder and CEO of Atlas Healthcare. “You know we’re thankful they did make nursing homes a priority.”
While the nursing homes wait another issue is brewing in the state’s largest hospital network - not all workers within the hospital system are rushing to get the vaccine.
“If we get close to 75% I’ll be really happy,” says Dr. Dan Varga, the chief physician executive of Hackensack Meridian Health.
Varga says within two weeks, 25,000 of some 40,000 workers will receive a shot. Varga says the next implementation of vaccines depends on a few things, including workers to administer shots, doses of actual vaccine available and whether or not people are willing to get the shot.
For some front-line workers, the vaccine is seen as a way to finally end the COVID-19 nightmare.