"Nursing home residents being one of the initial tranches will be part of the country's learning curve on how we appropriately distribute the COVID-19 vaccination," said Soumi Saha, a pharmacist and director of advocacy at Premier, which is a purchasing agent that works with 28,000 nursings homes and assisted-living facilities across the country. "And these facilities have already been hit pretty hard by the coronavirus pandemic, so the circle of trust has already broken down in that regard."
Wasserman is particularly concerned that nursing home workers seem to be an afterthought in the federal government's inoculation plan — especially given the evidence that employees account for many of the infections in nursing homes.
"The workers of nursing homes tend to be lower wage workers and often immigrants," he said. "You have a population that is prone to vaccination hesitancy. We need to help them understand the need for the vaccination, and we need to make it easy for them."