Federal government ships 1 million COVID-19 vaccines to pharmacies


The federal government will ship 1 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine to a nationwide network of pharmacies starting February 11 in a bid to make the vaccines more widely available, the White House said on Tuesday.

The gunfire shipments – which will initially go to 6,500 pharmacies across the country – are part of a larger expansion of the federal effort to vaccinate Americans against the deadly virus, said Jeff Zients, COVID-19 response coordinator of the White House.

“This will provide more sites for people to get vaccinated in their communities,” Zients said in a virtual briefing.

Although the first wave was relatively small in reach due to persistent supply issues, Zients said the plan was to expand the program more than six times.

“This initial phase of activating local pharmacies will get more shots and ensure that pharmacies have the infrastructure and experience they need to grow when vaccine supply increases in the coming months.” “, did he declare. “Ultimately, while we are able to increase supply, up to 40,000 pharmacies across the country could provide COVID-19 vaccines.

“These are places ranging from local independent pharmacies to national pharmacies to supermarkets,” he continued. “This is a critical step in providing the public with convenient and reliable places to get vaccinated in their communities.”

In New York state, CVS is expected to receive some 20,600 doses in 32 stores, according to the chain – but that doesn’t include any New York locations at this time.

Walgreens sites, including in the city, will also receive doses as part of the program, although its announcement does not detail the amounts.

CVS and Walgreens have previously administered vaccines in nursing homes, but these new vaccines would be available to other eligible people in the community.

Pharmaceutical vaccines will still be subject to state eligibility guidelines on who can receive the vaccine and when, however. In New York City, this currently includes healthcare workers, teachers, cops, transit workers, people living in homeless shelters, and anyone over 65.

Zients made the announcement on Tuesday because he also said the federal government would separately increase the number of doses sent to states by 5%.

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