A volunteer is injected with a vaccine as he participates in a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination study at the Research Centers of America, in Hollywood, Florida, U.S., September 24, 2020.
Marco Bello | Reuters
The Trump administration on Friday announced a deal with CVS Health and Walgreens to administer coronavirus vaccines to the elderly and staff in long-term care facilities.
The vaccine will be free of charge and available for residents in all long-term care settings, including skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential care homes and adult family homes, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a press release.
CVS and Walgreens will schedule and coordinate on-site clinic dates directly with each facility, the HHS said. The companies anticipate that three total visits over two months are likely to be needed to administer both doses of vaccine to residents and staff, the agency said.
“Protecting the vulnerable has been the number one priority of the Trump Administration’s response to COVID-19, and that commitment will continue through distributing a safe and effective vaccine earliest to those who need it most,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma said the deal will ensure that nursing home residents, which have been hit hard by the virus, “are at the front of the line for the COVID vaccine and will bring their grueling trial to a close as swiftly as possible.”
The announcement comes the same day states must submit their draft plans to the federal government on how they will distribute a coronavirus vaccine if and when one is approved for public use.
Most of the potential vaccines require two doses, although Johnson & Johnson’s requires just one shot, and some of them need to be transported and stored at varying and specific temperatures.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.