Melmark – the nonprofit in Berwyn that provides services to children and adults with autism, intellectual disabilities, and brain injuries – has decided to self-administer the COVID-19 vaccine to ensure faster access for its clients, writes Harold Brubaker for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The facility had a choice between waiting for CVS to first administer the vaccine or applying to be a vaccinator itself and hopefully receive the doses sooner.
Melmark CEO Rita Gardner was worried that choosing the first option might mean the facility would have to wait until March.
Choosing the alternative approach worked. The facility that serves 290 children and adults has received 1,100 doses of the vaccine and already started administering them last week.
One of the first people to be vaccinated was Gertrude Koroma, a direct support professional for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“Our priority was getting the vaccines as quickly as possible,” said Gardner.
The need for the vaccines was particularly urgent for Melmark’s intermediate care facilities, “where our individuals are so medically fragile. That was a really critical piece for us,” she said.
Read more about Melmark in The Philadelphia Inquirer here.