Thousands of long-term care facilities have already opted into CVS and Walgreens coronavirus vaccine deal, HHS says

A resident in a wheelchair at an assisted dwelling facility in Boston, MA on September 02, 2020. properties.

Craig F. Walker | Boston Globe | Getty Images

Thousands of long-term care and assisted dwelling facilities have already opted into the Trump administration’s program with CVS Health and Walgreens to manage coronavirus vaccines to seniors, a senior administration official stated Friday.

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it had struck a deal with the 2 pharmacy chains to manage vaccines to the aged at long-term care and assisted dwelling facilities free of cost. The program is non-compulsory, officers stated, and facilities started deciding on which pharmacy they most well-liked on Monday.

HHS estimates there are about 15,000 long-term care facilities in addition to a further 35,000 assisted dwelling facilities within the United States. Between 9,000 and 10,000 facilities have opted into this system because it was introduced final week, Paul Mango, a deputy chief of employees at HHS, informed reporters on Friday.

“We will stand by and see what else happens, but a very robust early response to that offering,” he stated.

The information comes as states have lower than two weeks to arrange vaccine distribution facilities throughout the nation to satisfy the Nov. 1 deadline set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — a monumental endeavor made much more troublesome by the truth that a vaccine hasn’t been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration.

On Thursday, an FDA advisory group met to debate the requirements wanted to make sure a Covid-19 vaccine is secure and efficient. At the assembly, FDA officers promised that any vaccine would bear rigorous testing earlier than being distributed to the general public.

Once a vaccine is accepted, it’ll seemingly be launched in levels, with the aged and health-care staff getting it first. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma stated final week that the CVS-Walgreens deal will be certain that nursing properties, which have been hit laborious 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.”

Mango stated final week that the federal authorities was in contact with different pharmacies in addition to CVS and Walgreens however stated that they might not “deliver on these capabilities and our executional requirements.”

“These two players have been doing this for a while,” he stated. “They have demonstrated the ability from an IT perspective, from a training and personnel perspective, from an asset perspective.”

On Friday, Mango additionally stated he’s “optimistic” that the administration will resolve any points round the fee of a coronavirus vaccine. The administration has pledged to supply a vaccine without spending a dime to each American who wants it.

He additionally touted progress in vaccine trials backed by the U.S., together with Moderna, which introduced Thursday that it had accomplished enrollment for its section three trial.

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