On February 2, President Biden announced about plans to increase vaccine supply to improve communities vaccination, initial launch of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, and expansion of FEMA reimbursement to states.
Launching First Phase of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination will be at efforts to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines. Starting on February 11, those eligible for the vaccine will have the opportunity to be vaccinated at select pharmacies across the country through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination. This program is a public-private partnership with 21 national pharmacy partners and networks of independent pharmacies representing over 40,000 pharmacy locations nationwide (listed below). It is a key component of the Administration’s National Strategy to expand equitable access to vaccines for the American public.
Communities Vaccination Access By Walgreens
Walgreens has been selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide a limited number of COVID-19 vaccinations across 15 states and jurisdictions as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. Vaccinations will begin in stores February 12 to eligible individuals based on state and jurisdiction guidelines, and may include healthcare workers, people age 65 and older, and individuals with pre-existing conditions.
“Walgreens was one of the first pharmacies to begin administering COVID-19 vaccinations in December to long-term care facility staff and residents, and we look forward to leveraging our experience to support the federal government and CDC in expanding access to these vaccines,” said John Standley, president, Walgreens. “Our pharmacy teams have already provided nearly two million COVID-19 vaccinations and stand ready with their expertise to help educate and vaccinate additional Americans, including those in rural and underserved communities.”
A defined number of vaccine doses will be allocated from the CDC directly to Walgreens in each geography. Those states and local jurisdictions include: Chicago, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, New York City, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
Starting Thursday, February 11, CVS Health will begin to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible populations at a limited number of CVS Pharmacy locations across 11 states. Supply for the initial rollout, which is sourced directly from the federal government through the pharmacy partnership program, will be approximately 250,000 total doses. As more supply becomes available the company will expand to additional states while increasing the number of stores offering vaccinations.
“Our presence in communities across the country makes us an ideal partner for administering vaccines in a safe, convenient, and familiar manner,” said Karen S. Lynch, President and Chief Executive Officer, CVS Health. “This is particularly true for underserved communities, which have been a focus for us throughout the pandemic.”
There are nearly 10,000 CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide, with almost half located in communities ranked high or very high in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Social Vulnerability Index. More than 90,000 health care professionals including pharmacists, licensed pharmacy technicians, and nurses will participate in the vaccination effort, giving CVS Pharmacy the capacity to administer 20 – 25 million shots per month.