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States redistributing excess COVID vaccines given to nursing homes

In the first rollout of the vaccine, the federal government sent too many doses to care facilities, which have been hit hard by the virus.

Updated: February 6, 2021 - 9:28pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

State officials across the country are purportedly hurrying to redistribute COVID-19 vaccines from elder-care facilities after too many of them were allotted to those institutions in the first rollout, amid a shortage of doses in parts of the country.

Officials in California, Michigan, Texas and elsewhere are hoping the shift will "expand vaccinations to more people, more quickly," the Washington Post reported Friday.

Getting vaccines to nursing homes has been a top priority, consider the high number of death in such facilities since the start of the pandemic.  

The fatality rate for the coronavirus rises significantly as one gets older and sicker, two prominent features of nursing home demographics. In addition, the patients in facilities with such close quarters also attributed to the virus spread in the early weeks and months of the pandemic.

The federal rollout of the vaccine allocated the number of doses according to the number of beds in any given facility, leading in many cases to surpluses. A reluctance among nursing home workers to take the vaccine also led to a surfeit.