Story at a glance
- A top aid confirmed a million doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be given to pharmacies on Feb. 11.
- This follows widespread criticism of the vaccine distribution infrastructure.
The Biden administration will launch a new COVID-19 vaccine shipping program that will give doses directly to U.S. retail pharmacies beginning next week to increase circulation of available vaccine doses.
Reuters reports that White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients confirmed the program will launch on Feb. 11 and is set to distribute 1 million doses across 6,500 pharmacies.
With more supplies coming down the pipeline, the program could grow to include around 40,000 stores.
Moreover, the government has acquired equipment that allows users to extract six doses of Pfizer’s vaccine from each vial instead of five.
“This will provide more sites for people to get vaccinated in their communities,” Zients told reporters.
An additional 10.5 million doses will be supplied to states and territories over the next three weeks, Zients added. One of Biden’s largest pledges upon taking office was to recalibrate the U.S. vaccine rollout.
Some states will also be eligible to be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for COVID-19 related costs they undertook. The payments will reportedly amount to between $3 billion and $5 billion.