Newsom Partners with CVS and Walgreens to Provide Pfizer Vaccines to Long-Term Care Facilities

January 4, 2021 by Sean Trambley
California Gov. Gavin Newsom at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington. (Photo by Dan McCue)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – This week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the country’s largest and most populous state has opted in to the federal COVID-19 Pharmacy Partnership, providing no-cost Pfizer vaccines to residents and staff in long-term care facilities.

At no cost to the state or local government, CVS and Walgreens will administer the Pfizer vaccine to residents and staff in long-term care facilities. 

Beginning on the 28th, CVS and Walgreens started with nursing homes, which will take an estimated 3-4 weeks, and then will vaccinate staff and residents in assisted living, residential care and other long-term care facilities. 

“Vaccinating those most vulnerable among us is critical to fighting this virus,” said 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 enable counties to leverage CVS and Walgreens pharmacy staff to administer the vaccine more broadly with pharmacy staff going directly to care facilities. 

Skilled Nursing Facilities will receive the vaccine from staff from CVS and Walgreens, while approximately 499 nursing homes will be provided the vaccine by CVS and 357 by Walgreens. 

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.”

Specifically, the federal COVID-19 Pharmacy Partnership program will ensure cold storage for the vaccine and will provide on-site administration of the vaccine to all residents and staff.

The program schedules and coordinates on-site vaccine clinic dates directly with each facility. 

Pharmacy staff will visit each facility several times to ensure that all residents and employees who wish to be vaccinated get the vaccine.

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