WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense (DoD) have announced agreements CVS and Walgreens to provide and administer COVID-19 vaccines in long-term care facilities nationwide with no out-of-pocket costs once the vaccines are available.
The free vaccines will be available to both staff and residents at skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential care homes and adult family homes.
“Today’s historic pharmacy partnership will truly help jurisdictions solve a logistical hurdle and decrease the burden of distributing, administering and reporting COVID-19 vaccination for both states and long-term care facilities,” says Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
CVS and Walgreens will schedule and coordinate on-site clinic dates directly with each facility. It is anticipated that three total visits over approximately two months are likely to be needed to administer multiple doses of vaccine (if indicated) to residents and staff.
Currently there are no COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized or approved by the Food and Drug Administration and recommended by CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. However, the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care Program is being established in anticipation that one or more COVID-19 vaccines will be available before the end of the year, according to HHS.
“The prioritization of vaccines for the vulnerable older Americans and front-line staff in senior living communities is essential in the continued fight against COVID-19.,” says James Balda, president and CEO of industry association Argentum. “For months, we have been emphasizing the importance of not only prioritization, but also assistance with administration, and we appreciate HHS’ attention to and action on this integral issue.”