TALLAHASSEE, Fla – CEO of CDR Health Tina Vidal-Duart says they will be finished with vaccinating all leftover assisted living facilities in the state of Florida by the end of this week.
This comes after the state asked the company to take over to expedite the rollout of vaccines by CVS and Walgreens, according to a Jan. 7 memo from the Agency for Health Care Administration.
“We started the process with only 10% of assisted living facilities had been vaccinated and as of this morning about 75% of assisted living facilities have been vaccinated,” Vidal-Duart said. “We vaccinated over 30,00 people in the past two and half weeks. We will complete our mission early and we will be done by the end of the week.”
A mission that did not come without challenges as Vidal-Duart said her company began sending out strike teams immediately.
CDR Health is a health disaster company that emerged during the pandemic as a subsidiary of CDR Maguire. According to Vidal-Duart, CDR Maguire is an emergency management company that before COVID-19 specialized in mobilizing teams after disasters like hurricanes and tornados.
“The fact that we are naturally an emergency management firm and we are trained to respond and pivot quickly after disasters and rally thousands of people has perfectly suited us to handle this,” she said.
However, the company moved so fast that it caused chaos and confusion for some assisted living facilities like Golden Pond in Winter Garden. There the facility was unaware of why CVS canceled their January 23rd clinic, only for CDR Health to show up the next day.
“The first three weeks, it was difficult,” Vidal-Duart said. “We were just moving through areas trying to give 24-72 hours notice that we were going to be in the area, be ready as our strike teams move very fast through all of these facilities. Now with the second and third clinics, we are giving exact clinic dates and we can organize this process better.”
News 6 emailed both CVS and Walgreens for comments on the switch over. Both companies said they will continue administering second doses at the places they have already been to.
“We finished all first doses in skilled nursing facilities and we’re 75% through administering the second doses. As for assisted living facilities, we’ve completed all first doses of the vaccine. We continue to be on track to complete the program consistent with timelines originally shared with states and provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” wrote a CVS spokesperson.
“Walgreens has provided more than 90,000 vaccinations and completed first dose clinics in all long-term facilities in Florida that selected Walgreens as their vaccine provider. We are still administering vaccinations in the vast majority of these long-term care facilities, including 189 skilled nursing facilities and over 1,100 assisted living facilities that scheduled their clinics by Jan. 23. The State of Florida re-allocated a small number of facilities contracted with Walgreens. We are operating in compliance with the plan and the timeline Florida submitted which was approved by the CDC. We share the state’s desire to vaccinate as many vulnerable populations in as safe, efficient and timely manner as possible. As the Governor mentioned, it is a team effort and we are proud to be part of the team,” said Fraser Engerman, Walgreen’s Senior Director for External Relations.