Walgreens executive says widespread Covid vaccines will be available in the spring

Walgreens pharmacist Jessica Sahni prepares a Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at The New Jewish Home long-term care facility on Manhattans Upper West Side in New York on December 21, 2020.

Bryan R. Smith | AFP | Getty Images

Covid vaccines are nonetheless exhausting to return by, however that ought to change by the spring, stated Rick Gates, Walgreens senior vp of pharmacy and well being care.

“I’d say late March, early April will be the timeline that you’ll have it more broadly across all of our stores across the nation of pharmacies and other places to start vaccinations,” he stated at CNBC’s Healthy Returns digital occasion on Tuesday.

Walgreens is a part of a federal pharmacy program that will ship doses on to drugstores this week. The pharmacy chain plans to begin vaccinations Friday at a few of its shops in 15 states, together with Chicago and New York City. However, all of these pharmacies will get a restricted provide and vaccines will solely be available to Americans who qualify as excessive precedence primarily based on components corresponding to their age or medical circumstances.

On Tuesday, the Biden administration stated it could additionally begin transport vaccines to neighborhood well being facilities subsequent week — a part of its technique to achieve communities of coloration and low-income households who could not have a grocery retailer or drugstore close by or could produce other limitations to entry, corresponding to a scarcity of transportation.

About 43.2 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered throughout the nation as of Tuesday morning, in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only 9.eight million individuals have obtained two doses of the shot. Both vaccines that at the moment have emergency authorization to be used from the Food and Drug AdministrationPfizerBioNTech and Moderna vaccines — require two doses.

Gates stated he’s hopeful {that a} vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson might enhance provide. The pharmaceutical firm utilized for emergency authorization from the FDA final week, after releasing information exhibiting its vaccine was about 66% efficient in defending in opposition to the virus. It is a one-shot vaccine and might be saved in the fridge for months.

“It’s just good news for all of us that there’s going to be more vaccine available,” he stated.

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