Florida Department of Health data shows that in Central Florida alone, about 1,200 nursing home residents and staff lost their lives to COVID-19. 

What You Need To Know

  • Vaccine will allow fewer restrictions on long-term care facilities

  • Data shows about 1,200 nursing home residents, staff in Central Florida died due to COVID-19

  • Nursing home residents will be among the first people to get the Pfizer vaccine

Long-term care facilities across the state have been under tight restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. Even after Gov. Ron DeSantis loosened those restrictions in the fall, families are typically still not able to visit their loved ones like before.

Karla Radka, President and CEO of Senior Resource Alliance, said when long-term care facility residents are vaccinated it should allow facility administrators to loosen those restrictions and improve residents’ quality of life.

“It is a welcomed process so that a vaccine can provide a level of protection, and normalcy for their loved ones,” Radka said.

The state’s vaccine distribution plan shows along with doctors and nurses, nursing home residents will also be among the first people to get the Pfizer vaccine.  Data shows about a third of the state’s first supply of doses will be reserved for those long-term care residents and will be distributed to those facilities through CVS and Walgreens, which the federal government partnered with for distribution of the vaccine.

When the vaccine arrives in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis says he’ll deploy the Florida National Guard to go to areas where there are a large concentration of nursing homes to help distribute the vaccine as quickly as possible.