SAN ANTONIO – CVS on Monday announced that it will start administering the COVID-19 vaccine at long-term care facilities in Texas by the end of the month.
The pharmacy chain said it will inoculate more than 275,000 patients in more than 2,000 nursing and assisted living facilities. The effort will begin on Dec. 28, CVS announced.
It’s among the latest efforts to get the nation in control of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed over 316,000 in the U.S. The national rollout of the vaccine, which began only last week, has given initial shots to about 556,000 Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The limited doses of Pfizer’s vaccine are going to the most vulnerable first — health care workers and nursing home residents.
CVS is one of two COVID-19 vaccine providers that partnered with the U.S. government to give the shots in nursing homes. The other is Walgreens, according to the Associated Press.
CVS will administer the Pfizer vaccine this week in 12 states, including Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Vermont.
The rest of the U.S. and the District of Columbia will begin administering vaccinations on Dec. 28. Puerto Rico will begin on Jan. 4.
The program is expected to vaccinate up to 4 million residents and 40,000 staff members at long-term care facilities across the nation. It is expected to finish in 12 weeks.
“Today’s rollout is the culmination of months of internal planning and demonstrates how the private sector can use its expertise to help solve some of our most critical challenges,” Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Health, said in a news release. “I’m grateful for the herculean efforts of everyone involved, including our health care professionals who will be deployed throughout the country to bring peace of mind to long-term care facility residents, staff, and their loved ones.”
The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech already is being distributed, and regulators last week gave approval to the one from Moderna Inc. that began shipping Sunday.