Oct 16 (Reuters) – The U.S. government has signed agreements with pharmacy chains CVS Health Corp and Walgreens Boot Alliance to administer COVID-19 vaccines to residents of long-term care facilities whenever a safe and effective vaccine is authorized, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said on Friday.
Under the partnership, residents and staff of all long-term care facilities like nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential care homes and adult family homes across the country can get vaccinated at no out-of-pocket cost.
Residents of long-term care facilities may be part of the prioritized groups for initial COVID-19 vaccination efforts until there are enough doses available for every American who wishes to be vaccinated, the HHS said in its statement.
U.S. public health officers have been drafting plans on how to distribute a coronavirus vaccine if and when it is authorized. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had set an Oct. 16 deadline for states to submit plans for distributing COVID-19 vaccines.
Vaccine distribution is expected to occur in a phased manner, with healthcare personnel, essential workers, people with high-risk medical conditions and adults over the age of 65 likely to receive vaccines in the first phase. (Reporting By Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)