SACRAMENTO–The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) announced that COVID-19 vaccinations are underway for skilled nursing facility residents and staff at the Veterans Home of California-Yountville.
Walgreens began administering the vaccines at the home Wednesday and continued the clinic through Friday. CalVet’s eight Homes are enrolled in the state and federal Pharmacy Partnership Program with Walgreens and CVS.
“The relief at our Home is palpable,” said CalVet Secretary Vito Imbasciani MD. “As we roll out vaccinations to all eight of our veteran Homes’ residents and staff, we are continuing our efforts to protect one of the state’s most vulnerable populations.”
Vaccinations are scheduled to begin over the course of the next few weeks at CalVet’s seven other homes, with additional homes scheduled to receive vaccines as soon as next week.
“Walgreens is very proud to be a part of this historic milestone to begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine to our most vulnerable populations in California and across the country,” said John Standley, president of Walgreens. “With more than a decade of experience administering various vaccines, we have the deep expertise to support this unprecedented effort to allow our nation to emerge from this pandemic.”
Both the Food and Drug Administration and an independent scientific safety review group formed by California and comprised of experts from California, Washington, Oregon, and Nevada have found the vaccine to be safe and effective.
“The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines to CalVet facilities across the state demonstrates our continued commitment to the health of those who have given so much in service to our country,” said David Casey, Chief Diversity Officer for CVS Health and Gulf War veteran. “We’re grateful for our partnership with CalVet and for our health care professionals who will be deployed throughout California to bring peace of mind to the state’s veteran Homes residents, staff, and their loved ones.”
Due to limited availability, the vaccine is being given first to CalVet health care workers and residents in skilled nursing, the first two groups prioritized in the state’s guidelines for distribution. As vaccine supplies increase over the next few weeks, CalVet will provide the vaccine to additional prioritized residents in the Veterans Homes.
“Despite this positive news, the pandemic is far from over,” said Secretary Imbasciani. “The vaccine requires two doses for full efficacy, and it could take months before enough of the state’s population has received them to reach the safe threshold of community immunity.”
Even after vaccines have been made available to all employees and residents of each CalVet Home, the homes will continue to follow strict infectious disease control protocols and conduct regular testing to ensure the safety of residents and staff. Each home will also work with county public health officials to determine how and when to adjust policies for visitations and social activities.