SACRAMENTO, Calif. – CVS and Walgreens began COVID-19 vaccinations Monday at long term care facilities.
Health representatives from CVS say they will be able to provide shots from the Pfizer vaccine for nearly 500 skilled nursing facilities. That is phase one, eventually, CVS wants to immunize close to 700,000 residents and staff in long-term care facilities, across the state.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the COVID-19 Pharmacy Partnership on Monday during a press conference. It's at no cost to the state or local government.
Monday, CVS and Walgreens started with nursing homes, which will take an estimated three to four weeks, and then vaccinate staff and residents in assisted living, residential care and other long-term care facilities, according to the state.
“Vaccinating those most vulnerable among us is critical to fighting this virus,” said Gov. Newsom. “By leveraging CVS and Walgreens resources, we can effectively deploy vaccines to residents and staff at our long-term care facilities, which are at higher risk of Covid transmission – and do it at no cost to the state or local government.”
The program will allow counties to leverage CVS and Walgreens pharmacy staff to administer the vaccine more broadly with pharmacy staff going directly to care facilities.
The vaccines will be administered by pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and nurses. Pharmacy technicians are participating under a recent waiver by the Board of Pharmacy that requires appropriate supervision under California law and specialized training.
“This partnership is an opportunity to augment other vaccination efforts at the local level to prioritize our most vulnerable Californians where we are seeing the most outbreaks, hospitalizations, and deaths,” said Dr. Erica Pan, Interim State Public Health Officer. “The partnership also allows us to continue to vaccinate other high priority individuals such as our front-line health care workers who are critical to our ongoing response to a surge of cases.”