By Erin Jones

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – They’re in the state’s first priority group to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but still many home health care workers say they’re having a hard time getting them.

Dr. Anna Loengard represents 25,000 employees who work for AccentCare, which is one of the biggest home health care companies in the country, with a large presence in North Texas.

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“Our staff has not been prioritized,” she said. “They have not really had a systematic way to be vaccinated.”

She says so far only 15% of her staff have received their first dose.

“They’re there every day. They’re in these people’s homes and to think that they weren’t included in this group of people to receive the vaccine right off the bat, it’s just unacceptable,” said AccentCare Director of Patient Care Services Nancy Neaves.

They’re working with the National Association for Home Care and Hospice.

“What they have seen is that home health care agencies that are not associated with a hospital system are basically in the same shoes that we are,” Loengard said.

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Her team is speaking to health departments, hospital systems and pharmacies.

“We’re asking ‘can you prioritize, can you give our staff the vaccine?’ ” she said. “I think we are really one of the only big large parts of the healthcare industry that was forgotten.”

Loengard said ideally, they hope is to secure partnerships with CVS, Walgreens and other big pharmacies who will start receiving large quantities of the vaccine soon.

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Erin Jones