Washington, Dec 29 : The US started on Monday to administer the first doses of Covid-19 vaccines to people in long-term care facilities (LTCF), who have been hit hard by the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.
States including Utah, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Rhode Island and Georgia began giving out Covid-19 vaccines to LTCF residents and staff, Xinhua news agency reported.
American pharmacy chains such as CVS and Walgreens are expected to provide the vaccines to LTCF and nursing home residents and staff.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended LTCF healthcare personnel and residents be included among those offered the first supply of Covid-19 vaccines.
Since the rolling out of two Covid-19 vaccines nationwide earlier this month, frontline healthcare workers have been the primary focus to get vaccinated.
Starting from this week, efforts have been expanded to LTCF as conditions in them have deteriorated anew, with nearly 20,000 cases and an estimated 5,000 deaths reported per week, according to the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living.
"Making sure LTCF residents can receive Covid-19 vaccination as soon as vaccines are available will help save the lives of those who are most at risk of dying from Covid-19," said the CDC on its website.
Approximately 569,000 to 616,000 Covid-19 cases and 91,500 deaths were reported among LTCF residents and staff members in the United States by November 6, accounting for 39 percent of deaths nationwide, according to a report updated by the CDC on Monday.