man rolling up sleeve, nurse preparing shot

Rural areas, with their smaller populations and tight-knit communities, are devising workarounds to vaccinate residents of long-term care facilities not yet reached by the federal vaccination program.

In Colorado, dozens of long-term care facilities enrolled in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care did not have vaccination clinics scheduled as of last week, according to Kaiser Health News. And with the federal focus on skilled nursing facilities in many areas right now, assisted living communities are facing even longer waits for vaccinations.

By mid-January, more than 90 facilities in rural Colorado opted out of the federal vaccination program, according to the news outlet. In some cases, county health departments are stepping in and diverting doses from their allotments to vulnerable adults.

Those vaccines are allowing facilities to offer a little bit of normalcy to residents, who adhere to social distancing and masking and infection control guidelines to gather for activities in small groups in common areas or visit with loved ones. One such place shared by Kaiser Health News is the Haven Assisted Living Facility in Hayden, CO, whose residents received their first vaccines from the Routt County Public Health Department.