Delaware has become one of the first states to start vaccinating long-term care staff for COVID-19.
According to the Delaware Division of Public Health, Genesis Healthcare received some of the 7,800 doses of the Pfizer vaccine that arrived Wednesday to start protecting staff at their facilities in Milford, Seaford and Dover.
“We are all relieved to see that this vaccine has arrived at our long-term care facilities to protect Delaware’s most vulnerable citizens from COVID-19,” Governor John Carney said Thursday. “But we’re not through the woods yet. We still face a difficult winter surge of cases and hospitalizations. Stay vigilant until we can widely distribute the vaccine. Wear a mask. Don’t gather with friends or family outside your household. We’ll get through this.”
Long-term care residents as well as staff members have been among the groups hardest hit by the pandemic in Delaware. Slightly more than half of Delaware’s reported 833 coronavirus deaths have involved residents of long-term care facilities.
“Vaccination is the critical third leg of the stool, along with personal protective equipment and testing, in stemming the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes and protecting residents and health care workers,” Genesis Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard Feifer said. “This is unquestionably the biggest vaccination effort ever undertaken, and we thank Governor John Carney for his support throughout this pandemic.”
“Since March, many of us have not been able to visit with our parents and grandparents as we have tried to protect them from the virus the only tools available to us masks and social distancing,” DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said. “This vaccine not only offers our seniors and long-term staff protection from the virus, it gives us hope that one day soon we will be able to visit with our loved ones again. It also means more of us will be here to celebrate the holidays next year. I am grateful Delaware is able to do this for its long-term care residents.”