CVS, Walgreens complete first COVID-19 vaccine doses at nursing facilities

Vaccines may be available to the general population in April or May, CVS said

Walgreens and CVS hit a milestone Monday, completing the first round of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered at partnering nursing facilities across the country.

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Both companies had established their goal to finish the first round of doses by Jan 25. after being tapped by the U.S. Department of Health and Senior Services to administer vaccinations to the high-priority populations.

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Since receiving their first allotments in late December, both CVS and Walgreens have remained on track to meet their goal and have been updating the public on its progress.

"Our dedicated health care professionals are reaching long-term care residents and staff as soon as possible based on activation dates selected by the states, while navigating the challenges of a complex rollout," said Karen Lynch, CVS Health's executive vice president.

CVS said that it had already begun administering second doses, which are expected to be completed within the month.

Meanwhile, Walgreens announced last week that it had administered more than 1 million COVID-19 vaccinations and was also on track to complete the first doses in nursing facilities by Jan. 25.

Both companies have reached an agreement with federal health officials to distribute free vaccines to the general public once they become available. The goal is to make getting a COVID-19 vaccine similar to getting a flu shot.

Walgreens plans to expand access to the general population at over 9,000 stores "once COVID-19 vaccines become available more broadly in 2021," the company said.

COVID-19 VACCINATIONS IN THE US SLATED TO BEGIN MONDAY

Likewise, CVS expects to offer the vaccine to CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide "subject to product availability and prioritization of populations," the company said.

For the time being, CVS outlined the populations in the first phase of the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. These groups include:

  • Phase 1a: Health care workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities.
  • Phase 1b: Front-line essential workers and adults 75 years of age and older.
  • Phase 1c: Adults 65 to 74 years of age, individuals age 16 to 64 with high-risk medical conditions, and other essential workers.

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"While the timeline for each of these phases is not yet known, vaccines may be available to the general population as soon as April or May," CVS' website explains.

CVS estimates that it will be able to administer between 20 million to 25 million shots per month.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.