Under President Trump’s ‘Operation Warp Speed’, CVS and Walgreens have now signed an agreement that will ensure administration of the prospective coronavirus shots to vulnerable citizens, nursing home residents, and staff free of cost.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense (DoD) on Friday, announced agreements with CVS and Walgreens to provide and administer COVID-19 vaccines to residents of long-term care facilities (LTCF) nationwide with no out-of-pocket costs.
Under the new deal, trained staff from the two national pharmacy chains will deliver the future vaccines to nursing homes and administer the shots. The vaccine would also be available for free to residents in long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, adult family homes, and residential care homes.
As per the new arrangement, CVS and Walgreens will be reimbursed for administering the shots at standard Medicare rates. The two companies will schedule and coordinate on-site clinic date(s) directly with each facility. It is anticipated that three total visits over approximately two months are likely to be needed to administer both doses of vaccine.
In a statement by HHS Secretary Alex Azar, the official praised President Trump’s efforts in ensuring seamless administration of the vaccine to the vulnerable population, saying, “Protecting the vulnerable has been the number one priority of the Trump Administration’s response to COVID-19, and that commitment will continue through distributing a safe and effective vaccine earliest to those who need it most. Our unprecedented public-private partnership with CVS and Walgreens will provide convenient and free vaccination to residents of nursing homes across America, another historic achievement in our efforts to get a safe and effective vaccine to Americans as fast as possible.”
Furthermore, the HHS is using multiple authorities to ensure appropriate reimbursement for these services and that no American being vaccinated for COVID-19 will have to pay out-of-pocket. As of now, the 4 major vaccines being tested in the US include ones by Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and AstraZeneca. It is also being said that a successful candidate might be made available by spring 2021.