October 16, 2020
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense (DoD) announced a new partnership with CVS and Walgreens aimed at providing and administering COVID-19 vaccines to long-term care residents at no out-of-pocket cost, according to a press release from the DoD.
“Protecting the vulnerable has been the number one priority of the Trump Administration’s response to COVID-19, and that commitment will continue through distributing a safe and effective vaccine earliest to those who need it most,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
“Our unprecedented public-private partnership with CVS and Walgreens will provide convenient and free vaccination to residents of nursing homes across America, another historic achievement in our efforts to get a safe and effective vaccine to Americans as fast as possible.”
Once vaccines are readily available, this partnership, better known as the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, will allow residents and staff to safely and efficiently get vaccinated. Further, this program will help lower the burden of vaccine handling, administration, and fulfilling reporting requirements on both long-term care facilities and health departments.
According to the press release, the DoD highlighted that the program:
- Is a free service for facilities;
- Will be an option for residents in long-term care settings, including skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential care homes, and adult family homes;
- Allows staff members who were not vaccinated remotely to receive the vaccine in their facility;
- Will be available in most rural areas that are not necessarily close to a pharmacy; and
- Will use multiple authorities to ensure appropriate reimbursement for these services so no American is being vaccinated for COVID-19 and will not have to pay out-of-pocket.
“Ensuring access to COVID-19 vaccines, particularly among our most vulnerable populations, will be critical to saving lives and helping our nation recover from the pandemic,” said John Standley, Walgreens president.
“CVS Health has been on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19, working across the health care spectrum in all the communities we serve and that will continue to be the case when we have a vaccine to dispense,” said Troy Brennan, Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health.
Of important note, beginning October 19, 2020, long-term care facilities can begin to opt-in and indicate which pharmacy partner they would prefer to have on-site.
US Department of Defense. Trump Administration Partners with CVS and Walgreens to Provide COVID-19 Vaccine to Protect Vulnerable Americans in Long-Term Care Facilities Nationwide [press release]. https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Releases/Release/Article/2384541/trump-administration-partners-with-cvs-and-walgreens-to-provide-covid-19-vaccin. October 16, 2020.