The coronavirus vaccine appeared sooner than most people expected, but the roll out may be bumpy. 

Senior care providers and residents are about to be the first people vaccinated against COVID-19. That is great news, and putting your politics aside, no one, me included, thought this would happen before year end. But it did.

Now what? The media loves to film the first person getting a shot, but the full roll out will be a bit more cumbersome than the staff at a single hospital. Nursing homes and assisted living communities are on the priority list, but because their residents are healthier, IL communities are not. They will have to wait. And that is wrong.

The big unknown is how many people will opt out of getting the vaccine. If the 30% to 40% we keep hearing in the media is accurate, then the recovery will be slower than people want, and the virus will hang around longer.

Some providers are smartly using the vaccine in their marketing, as in, “move in now and be first in line.” Not a bad idea, as long as they move in before the vaccine arrives on Tuesday for the community. 

The nightmare for senior care is not over yet, but it will be, and then the rebuilding comes. Both trust and census will go hand in hand. And then all we will have to worry about are such mundane things like staffing, wages, operating margins, cash flow, you name it. But much better than COVID.