Story at a glance
- Walgreens Chief Medical Officer Kevin Ban said that following frontline health workers, long-term care facility occupants can expect to begin receiving vaccines by Monday, Dec. 21.
- Ban said states will receive vaccine allocations based on population.
As Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine looks more likely following an independent panel approval, the next question is how the vaccine will be distributed to the first patients across the country.
Speaking to NBC News, Walgreens Chief Medical Officer Kevin Ban said the American people can expect a similarly quick rollout.
“We're working very hard to make sure the vaccine is distributed and administered safely, but also that people have the facts to make a decision so that they'll decide to get vaccinated,” he said on air.
Noting that the pharmacy store chain is working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, and the Department of Health and Human Services, Ban confirmed that states will see allocations based on population following FDA approval.
“Now, our expectation is that as soon as next week, they will prioritize that really to the people on the frontlines of this pandemic, that is, first responders and health care workers,” he said.
Next will come the recommended long-term care facility residents to receive vaccinations, which Ban anticipates will commence on Monday, Dec. 21.
Ban touted Walgreen’s robust vaccine clinic infrastructure as a key component in facilitating COVID-19 vaccinations when more doses become available.
He also expressed faith in the vaccine’s safety, despite reports of instances of adverse reactions emerging as more countries approve it, and that it will be free to all Americans.