Tameika Mitchum pic

Tameika Mitchum, Director of Nursing at Carlyle Senior Care of Kingstree receives the COVID-19 vaccine. Mitchum, along with 55 residents and 32 staff members at the center chose to received their first dose.

Photo courtesy Ashley C. Monteith, Admissions Coordinator

CVS Health teams were at Carlyle Senior Care of Kingstree on January 5, as part of its COVID-19 vaccination program for long-term care facilities. CVS Pharmacy teams began administering the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in facilities across 12 states the week of December 21. New coronavirus cases increased over 50% the week ending January 9, 2021, with 37,366 reported cases. South Carolina is ranked fourth in the nation where cases are spreading the fastest per-person.

Fifty-five residents and 32 staff members at the center chose to receive their first dose. The team will return in February to administer the second dose. The company expects to vaccinate up to four million residents and staff at over 40,000 long-term care facilities through the program.

“I am excited for our employees and our residents that this vaccine is now available,” said Carlyle Senior Care Administrator Candice Slavinski. “Vaccinating one of our most vulnerable populations and the people that take care of them is so important during this pandemic. This is bringing us all just one step closer to overcoming the most significant health challenges, that most of us will see in of our lifetime.”

According to a press release, CVS Pharmacy teams will make three visits to each long-term care facility to ensure residents and staff receive their initial shot and critical booster. The majority of residents and staff will be fully vaccinated three to four weeks after the first visit, depending on which vaccine they receive. CVS Health expects to complete its long-term care facility vaccination effort in approximately 12 weeks.

“Vaccinating one of our most vulnerable populations is the latest milestone in our multifaceted pandemic response, which includes testing more than 10 million people for the virus since March,” stated Karen S. Lynch, currently Executive Vice President, CVS Health and President, Aetna, who will become the company’s next President and CEO on February 1. “The eventual availability of COVID-19 vaccines in communities across the country will bring us one step closer to overcoming the most significant health challenge of our lifetime.”

Vaccines in a retail setting will be offered on an appointment-only basis via CVS.com or through the CVS Pharmacy app, and there will be a dedicated 800 number for people without online access. CVS Pharmacy will have the capacity to administer 20 – 25 million shots per month.