Oct 16 (Reuters) - The U.S. government has signed agreements
with pharmacy chains CVS Health Corp and Walgreens Boot
Alliance to administer COVID-19 vaccines to residents of
long-term care facilities whenever a safe and effective vaccine
is authorized, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
said on Friday.
Under the partnership, residents and staff of all long-term
care facilities like nursing homes, assisted living facilities,
residential care homes and adult family homes across the country
can get vaccinated at no out-of-pocket cost.
Residents of long-term care facilities may be part of the
prioritized groups for initial COVID-19 vaccination efforts
until there are enough doses available for every American who
wishes to be vaccinated, the HHS said in its statement.
U.S. public health officers have been drafting plans on how
to distribute a coronavirus vaccine if and when it is
authorized. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) had set an Oct. 16 deadline for states to submit plans for
distributing COVID-19 vaccines.
Vaccine distribution is expected to occur in a phased
manner, with healthcare personnel, essential workers, people
with high-risk medical conditions and adults over the age of 65
likely to receive vaccines in the first phase.
(Reporting By Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika