On December 21 CVS Health has formally announced about launching its COVID-19 vaccination program for long-term care facilities, whose residents have been disproportionality impacted by the pandemic. In the nearest week pharmacy teams will administer the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in facilities across 12 states this week, and the company expects to vaccinate up to four million residents and staff at over 40,000 long-term care facilities through the program.
“Today’s rollout is the culmination of months of internal planning and demonstrates how the private sector can use its expertise to help solve some of our most critical challenges,” said Larry J. Merlo, President and Chief Executive Officer, CVS Health. “I’m grateful for the herculean efforts of everyone involved, including our health care professionals who will be deployed throughout the country to bring peace of mind to long-term care facility residents, staff, and their loved ones.”
12 Weeks Vaccination Program
12 weeks’ vaccination program plan includes three visits to each long-term care facility to ensure residents and staff receive their initial shot and critical booster.
The majority of residents and staff will be fully vaccinated three to four weeks after the first visit, depending on which vaccine they receive. CVS Health expects to complete its long-term care facility vaccination effort in approximately 12 weeks.
“CVS Health will administer COVID-19 vaccinations starting this week in the following states: Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Vermont. Vaccinations will begin in 36 more states, as well as the District of Columbia, on December 28. Puerto Rico will activate on January 4,” – the company writes.
20 to 25 Million Shots Per Month By CVS Health In Long-Term Care Facilities
The long-term care facility vaccination effort is a precursor to the eventual availability of COVID-19 vaccines at all of the company pharmacies locations throughout the country subject to product availability and prioritization of populations, which will be determined by states.
Vaccines in a retail setting will be offered on an appointment-only basis or through the app, and there will be a dedicated 800 number for people without online access. According to the information from the company, CVS Pharmacy will have the capacity to administer 20 to 25 million shots per month.
“Vaccinating one of our most vulnerable populations is the latest milestone in our multifaceted pandemic response, which includes testing more than 10 million people for the virus since March,” stated Karen S. Lynch, currently Executive Vice President, CVS Health and President, Aetna, who will become the company’s next President and CEO on February 1.
“The eventual availability of COVID-19 vaccines in communities across the country will bring us one step closer to overcoming the most significant health challenge of our lifetime.”
Given the currently limited information on how much the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines may reduce transmission in the general population and how long protection lasts, vaccinated persons should continue to follow all current guidance to protect themselves and others.
This includes wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, washing hands often, following quarantine guidance after an exposure to someone with COVID-19, and following any applicable workplace or school guidance, including guidance related to personal protective equipment use or SARS-CoV-2 testing.