CVS, Walgreens to administer COVID-19 vaccine at nursing homes, senior living facilities

COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 5:22 PM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 18:58:46-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Relief is on the way for nursing homes and senior living facilities, some of the places hit hardest by COVID-19.

"We know that nursing home residents are the highest-risk people when they get COVID-19, but also the highest risk of being exposed because of their congregate living situation," said Jessica Kalender-Rich, national member of the Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes.

Soon, the high-risk population will have access to the COVID-19 vaccines through pharmacies including CVS and Walgreens.

"I'm just really proud that we are one of the companies that's going to be able to facilitate the vaccination initiative that's starting [Monday]," said Nate Burrell, district leader for CVS Health.

CVS administer vaccines it already has in storage in 12 states starting this week. Those include Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Vermont.

CVS said it will begin vaccinations in 36 more states (including Kansas and Missouri) and Washington D.C. on Dec. 28. In Puerto Rico, it will offer vaccines starting Jan. 4.

Kalender-Rich said said facilities will have "clinic dates" on which CVS or Walgreens will come to administer vaccines. They will observe patients and staff after they receive the vaccine.

The organization said it has 450 vaccination sites confirmed so far, and expects that number to grow as Missouri extends vaccinations to assisted living facilities.

Kalender-Rich said the commission is only scheduling clinics at skilled nursing facilities in Missouri right now.

Organizers are booking clinic dates at both types of facilities in Kansas.

This partnership hopes to take the stress off of these already hard-pressed locations and reunite seniors with their families.

Walgreens told 41 Action News it will provide COVID-19 vaccinations in 800 long-term care facilities this week. Walgreens will expand to more states the week of Dec. 28 or "once a jurisdiction is approved to begin by the CDC."