Walgreens, CVS will offer free COVID-19 vaccines at long-term care facilities

Walgreens and CVS Health have partnered with Operation Warp Speed, the White House task force to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, to administer the vaccines to high-priority groups at long-term care facilities when one becomes available.

HHS said the partnership is being established in anticipation that one or more COVID-19 vaccines will be available before the end of the year. 

"Our nation's elderly living in long-term care facilities are one of the most vulnerable populations. With early access to a vaccination, we can help keep them, and the staff caring for them, healthy and safe," said Troyen Brennan, MD, CVS chief medical officer. 

The vaccines will be free, and the partnership covers long-term care settings including skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential care homes and adult family homes. 

"We look forward to leveraging our nationwide footprint, community presence and pharmacist expertise to help administer COVID-19 vaccines once they become available," Walgreens said.

CVS and Walgreens will schedule and coordinate with the facilities directly, HHS said. It anticipates three visits over about 2 months will be needed to administer two doses of the vaccine to residents and staff, if the approved vaccine requires two doses. 

The pharmacies will be responsible for ensuring cold chain management for the vaccine and reporting who was vaccinated and where to public health authorities within 72 hours of administering each dose. 

Beginning Oct. 19, long-term care facilities will be able to decide which pharmacy it prefers to work with, HHS said. 

“Our unprecedented public-private partnership with CVS and Walgreens will provide convenient and free vaccination to residents of nursing homes across America, another historic achievement in our efforts to get a safe and effective vaccine to Americans as fast as possible," HHS Secretary Alex Azar said. 

Read HHS' full news release here

More articles on pharmacy:
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Walgreens 4th-quarter sales at retail pharmacies up 3.6%
Operation Warp Speed's latest move: $31M to Cytiva to manufacture COVID-19 vaccine components

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