SAN ANTONIO – CVS has started administering the COVID-19 vaccine at long-term care facilities in Texas.
The pharmacy chain plans to inoculate more than 275,000 patients in more than 2,000 nursing and assisted living facilities in Texas in its COVID-19 vaccination program, which started Monday.
The limited doses of Pfizer’s vaccine are going to the most vulnerable first — health care workers and nursing home residents. The regimen consists of two doses.
Last week, the chain started giving Pfizer’s first doses to people 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 began administering vaccinations on Monday. Puerto Rico will begin on Jan. 4.
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.
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.
In a news release announcing the program, President and CEO of CVS Health Larry J. Merlo said the 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.”
“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,” he added.
Two COVID-19 vaccines, one developed by Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech, and the other from Moderna Inc. have already begun initial distributions.
It’s among the latest efforts to get the nation in control of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed over 333,000 Americans so far.