The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense announced a partnership with CVS and Walgreens pharmacies to provide and administer COVID-19 vaccines to residents of long-term care facilities (LTCF) with no out-of-pocket costs. Although no vaccines have been authorized or approved by the Federal Drug Administration yet, HHS explains it is establishing the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care Program to prepare for the availability of one or more vaccines by the end of the year.
The deal, part of the Administration’s Operation Warp Speed, will support management of COVID-19 vaccinations for LTCF residents and staff, potentially reducing the burden on LTCFs and state and local health departments. HHS notes that the program will be free and available to residents in all long-term care settings (i.e., skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential care homes, and adult family homes) as well as LTCF staff who have not been previously vaccinated.
Beginning today, LTCFs can opt into the program and select a preferred pharmacy provider, or they can choose not to participate and use their current pharmacy contracts for COVID-19 vaccination. Nursing homes can sign-up via the National Healthcare Safety Network and assisted living facilities can sign-up online via a survey they will receive.
According to HHS, the pharmacies will be in charge of acquiring supplies, transporting the vaccines, and administering them on-site. They will also work with each facility to coordinate and schedule vaccination, with up to three visits over two months expected for the administration of two doses of vaccine to residents and staff.