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.
There are about 15,000 long-term care facilities as well as an additional 35,000 assisted living facilities in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s deputy director for infectious diseases, Jay Butler, told reporters on a call Friday. The eligibility requirements for facilities are “very broad,” he added.
Starting Monday, long-term care facilities will be able to select which pharmacy they prefer to have on-site. The facilities can opt-in to the program through the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network, Butler said. If a facility chooses to not opt-in, there will be the possibility of being able to administer vaccines through other sources, including from local pharmacies, he added.
CVS and Walgreens will schedule and coordinate on-site clinic dates directly with each facility, 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. Long-term care facilities are not mandated to participate, HHS added.