Sometime next week, state and local officials are reporting that vaccines will soon go to nursing facilities and assisted living homes.

Advocates say this is a big step forward, but the lives of so many in these vulnerable homes are still on the line.

“The good news is that they have been prioritized in the beginning shipment.”

Crista Bennet Nelson is with senior advocacy services of Sonoma County.

“We will get 4,875 doses in the first shipment, then the rest fast and furious to get to those in most need.”

Nelson says the aggressive virus has been exceptionally brutal for those in long term care.

In Sonoma County, 75% of the deaths happened at to those in such facilities.

Since March, care facilities went into lockdown. Statewide restrictions remain in place.

“We know it comes in from care providers, thats why it is vital to get these people the vaccine,” Nelson added.

“It is a mixed bag, we are seeing a surge in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but it is a matter of how many vaccines we going to get,” said staff attorney for California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform Mike Dark.

Dark says the worry now is the rationing of the vaccine.

As of now, there isn’t enough to go around for all those in the thousands of care facilities in the state.

“And that means some will live and some will die,”He says it is critical, strict measures of social distancing, PPE, masks must still happen.

“We must not let down our guard. we must still protect the vulnerable. help is coming, but it isn’t here totally yet.”

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