WelbeHealth is administering its first COVID-19 vaccines to its elderly participants this week, beginning at the organization’s center in Long Beach. The first seniors received their vaccinations on Wednesday, and additional vaccines will be administered next week.
WelbeHealth, a healthcare provider delivering integrated care for frail seniors across California, received its first shipment of the vaccine earlier this week and rapidly deployed its plan to administer the injections to its highest-risk participants.
“This is a momentous occasion for our programs and our society. It’s essential that we all get vaccinated, not only for ourselves but for the safety and wellbeing of everyone in our communities,” said WelbeHealth President Matt Patterson, MD. “With each vaccine, we are literally saving the lives of our elders who have given so much to enrich our world.”
WelbeHealth provides care as part of PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), a longstanding Medicare and Medicaid program that enables older adults to live in the community instead of a nursing home.
At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, WelbeHealth shifted to a remote home-based care model, providing each participant with an internet-connected WelbeLink computer tablet and delivering care in the home whenever possible. The program has a long track record of positive outcomes, including longer life expectancy and dramatically improved mental health and quality of life. The PACE model has proven dramatically safer for seniors during the pandemic, with 85-95 percent lower infection and mortality rates than nursing homes.