CVS and Walgreens will begin COVID-19 vaccinations of residents and staff at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities Friday, hoping to stem the deaths and illnesses that disproportionately impacted some of the nation’s most vulnerable since the pandemic began.
As part of a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the two organizations will begin their effort to vaccinate millions of residents at thousands of facilities across the U.S.
“Walgreens is very proud to be a part of this historic milestone to begin administering Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to our most vulnerable populations,” Walgreens President John Standley said in a statement.
“With more than a decade of experience administering various vaccines, we have the deep expertise to support this unprecedented effort to allow our nation to emerge from this pandemic.”
There is no federal requirement that staff or residents be vaccinated against COVID-19 but experts are hoping it is widely accepted.
More than 100,000 residents and staff of long-term care facilities have died of COVID-19. Congregate settings like nursing homes have proved to be the most dangerous areas for COVID-19 transmission, and the elderly are most likely to face severe complications, including death, if they get the disease.
Beginning Friday, Walgreens will administer Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to residents and staff at nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Ohio and Connecticut.
Starting next week, Walgreens will offer the vaccine in about 800 long-term care facilities across 12 states. Through the program, Walgreens will eventually expand vaccinations to nearly 3 million residents and staff at 35,000 long-term care facilities.
CVS will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines at a “handful” of long-term care facilities in Connecticut and Ohio Friday, a spokesperson said. CVS’s national rollout begins next week, with vaccinations offered at long-term care facilities in 12 states. It will expand to more states in the following weeks. CVS expects to vaccinate up to 4 million residents and staff at 40,000 long-term care facilities through the program, a spokesperson said.
Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, the administration’s effort to accelerate the development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, said EMTs and other contractors have already begun vaccinations in long-term care facilities in Florida and West Virginia.
“Come Monday, we will be at over 1,100 different locations,” he said.
“We are really aggressively working on the offense to take care of these great Americans in these facilities.”