A volunteer is injected with a vaccine while participating in a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination study at the Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Florida, United States, on September 24, 2020.
Marco Bello | Reuters
The Trump administration on Friday announced a contract with CVS Health and Walgreens to deliver coronavirus vaccines to the elderly and workers in long-term care facilities.
The vaccine will be free and available to residents of all long-term care facilities, including qualified care facilities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, nursing homes and adult family homes, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a press release.
From Monday, long-term care facilities can choose which pharmacy they prefer on site.
CVS and Walgreens will schedule and coordinate the clinic's on-site appointments directly with each facility, HHS said. The companies anticipate three visits over two months to give residents and employees both vaccine doses, the agency said. Long-term care facilities are not required to attend, HHS added.
"Protecting the vulnerable has been the top priority of the Trump administration's response to COVID-19, and that commitment continues by distributing a safe and effective vaccine to those who need it most, at the earliest," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar in a statement.
Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said the deal will ensure that nursing homes badly hit by the virus "are at the forefront of COVID vaccination and complete their grueling study just as quickly will." as possible."
The announcement comes the same day states are required to submit their draft plans to the federal government for distributing a coronavirus vaccine if one is approved for public use.
Once a vaccine is approved, it is likely to be released gradually, with the elderly and healthcare workers receiving it first.
There are four potential late-stage vaccines currently supported by the US. Most potential vaccines require two doses, although Johnson & Johnson only requires one shot and some of them need to be transported and stored at different and specific temperatures.
Paul Mango, deputy chief of staff for policy at HHS, told reporters on an October 9 appeal that the federal government was "in the process of engaging tens of thousands of vendors for these vaccines." Mango added that the US currently has more than 40 million vaccination kits assembled with the bottles, needles and other items needed for the shooting.
"All of these products are in ready-to-use warehouses. So this is a major logistical task or undertaking," he said.
HHS said Friday that CVS and Walgreens will receive and administer vaccines and ensure they are stored at the correct temperatures. The companies will also be responsible for administering the vaccine on site.
"Ensuring access to COVID-19 vaccines, especially among our most vulnerable populations, will be critical to saving lives and helping our nation recover from the pandemic," said John Standley, President of Walgreens, in a statement.
Troy Brennan, CVS Health's chief medical officer, said in a statement, "CVS Health has been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, and has been and will be working across the spectrum of health care in all of the communities we serve continue to stay that way. " Case when we need to dispense a vaccine. "
HHS also said it was "using multiple agencies" to ensure adequate reimbursement for vaccinations and that no American would have to pay out of pocket.