US to send 1 million COVID-19 vaccines to retail pharmacies Feb. 11

The federal government will send 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to about 6,500 retail pharmacies Feb. 11, The New York Times reports. 

The shipment is the start of a federal program announced last fall that aims to eventually deliver vaccines to 40,000 pharmacies, according to the Times. 

Jeffrey Zients, the White House's COVID-19 response coordinator, said Feb. 2 that the vaccine doses sent to retail pharmacies won't cut into doses allocated to states. The program aims to greatly expand the number of sites where vaccines are available, Mr. Zients said, according to the Times

The program will start slowly, and many pharmacies won't get any vaccines, or very few, at first, the Times reports. It also won't expand the number of people eligible to receive a vaccine. 

Mr. Zients said the government will allocate vaccines to pharmacies based on the population of each state and jurisdiction, according to the Times

The CDC will work with states to choose pharmacies in places where people are harder to reach and pharmacies that are close to people at high risk of developing severe COVID-19. The agency will also monitor pharmacies to make sure they're distributing doses efficiently and fairly, the Times reports. 

CVS said it will begin offering vaccines in 11 states Feb. 11 and that it expects to receive 250,000 doses initially. Walgreens said it will begin offering vaccines Feb. 12 in 15 states and major cities, but did not say how many doses it expects to get. 

More articles on pharmacy:
US COVID-19 vaccinations exceed positive tests for virus, Bloomberg reports
Novartis to help manufacture Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine
HHS agrees to delay drug rebate rule


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