CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Coronavirus vaccinations at nursing homes in West Virginia have entered a new phase this week with the start of the administration of a required second round of shots.
“West Virginia is the first in the country to provide both doses to the long-term care community,” said Todd Jones, president of AMFM Nursing and Rehabilitation.
Initial vaccinations utilizing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine began during the week of Dec. 14, 2020.
The recommendation is for second shots of the vaccine to follow 21 days after initial doses for 95 percent effectiveness.
For Jones and his mother, a resident of Cabell Health Care Center, an AMFM facility, dose No. 2 came on Wednesday morning.
“This is a very safe vaccine. I urge anyone and everyone to take this vaccine as soon as it is made to available to you so we can try to put this pandemic in our rearview mirror,” said Jones during Wednesday’s coronavirus briefing with Gov. Jim Justice and other state officials.
Jones recognized those officials for their vaccine coordination efforts which made nursing homes priorities.
“Many states have not even begun their process,” he said.
AMFM operates 19 skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers in 18 counties: Braxton, Boone, Cabell, Clay, Fayette, Hardy, Harrison, Greenbrier, Lincoln, Mason, Marshall, McDowell, Mercer, Summers, Taylor, Wayne, Webster and Wyoming.
In partnership with LifeTree Pharmacy, all 19 of AMFM facilities are scheduled to complete second round vaccinations Friday.
Additionally, Jones said AMFM would be supporting clinics at 48 other long-term care facilities.
In all, he estimated those affiliated with LifeTree Pharmacy would give 6,500 employees and residents follow-up shots while, at the same time, another 600 employees and residents statewide would be receiving initial doses.
“Where West Virginia is right now, leading the country in (coronavirus vaccinations for) long-term care, is very exciting,” Jones said.