“This pharmacy program will expand access to neighborhoods across the country,” Jeff Zients, who is Biden’s Covid-19 response coordinator, said in a briefing with reporters. Shipments will increase as supply allows, but “due to current supply constraints, they will be limited when they start next week,” he said.
Pharmacies providing in-store injections include CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart, and Costco, as well as independent operator networks. Not all channels will immediately participate in all states, the White House has said.
Zients also announced that the Biden administration will expand reimbursements to states for eligible expenses related to the pandemic, dating back to early 2020. These expenses include masks, gloves and the mobilization of National Guard troops, he said. -he declares.
It is expected to cost between $ 3 billion and $ 5 billion and does not require congressional approval, Zients said, but called on Congress to adopt a new coronavirus aid package. States need resources for other parts of the coronavirus response, including testing, genomic sequencing and mass vaccination centers, he said.
“The faster Congress acts, the faster we can scale vaccination sites, mobile units, we can increase testing, we can increase emergency supplies,” he said.
Biden’s team discussed the developments during a call with governors earlier Tuesday. The number of doses sent to pharmacies in each state will be calculated using the same formula as the aggregate state shipments, but the administration has selected pharmacies in rural or underserved areas in an effort to ensure fairness in the areas. vaccinations, Zients said.
Those looking for vaccines will still be subject to local vaccination criteria, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will monitor program data to ensure fair and effective vaccination through pharmacies, he said.
CVS Health Corp. will begin vaccinating people on Feb. 11 at CVS Pharmacy stores in 11 states as part of the federal partnership, the company said in a statement. The drugstore chain works directly with Indiana and Ohio to give injections using their state allowances.
Deerfield-based Walgreens will offer shots in 13 states, including Illinois, as part of the program. He will also work directly with cities such as New York and Chicago, focusing on underserved areas with a high social vulnerability index. Walgreens will continue to work directly with the states. He has already given 300,000 hits thanks to these arrangements, the company said.
The pharmaceutical teams “stand ready with their expertise to help educate and immunize other Americans, including those in rural and underserved communities,” Walgreens President John Standley said in a statement.
The Trump administration tapped about two dozen pharmacies last fall to participate in the program, which would open thousands of convenient places to get vaccinated. Initially, the partnership was to start when the general public became eligible. It’s now sped up to help relieve some of the bottlenecks in getting shots.
Up to 40,000 pharmacies across the country could potentially administer COVID-19 vaccines, including independent pharmacies, national chains and supermarkets, Zients said. The Biden administration also plans to use mass vaccination sites, mobile clinics, community health centers and other providers.
The dose escalation – 1.9 million additional doses per week in the States, plus one million additional doses in drugstores – is possible due to increased production from Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc., a Zients said. The vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna require two injections.