SACRAMENTO – California has opted into the federal COVID-19 Pharmacy Partnership, and at no cost to the state or local government, CVS and Walgreens will administer the Pfizer vaccine in long-term care facilities.
Walgreens and CVS pharmacies across the state will handle vaccinations starting Monday except in Los Angeles County, where residents and staff in skilled nursing facilities are already being vaccinated. Vaccinations at other long-term care facilities will happen through the federal pharmacy partnership with Walgreens and CVS and are likely to begin in early January, county Public Health officials said Monday.
Governor Gavin Newsom announced that starting Monday, CVS and Walgreens will start with nursing homes, which will take an estimated three to four weeks, and then 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,” Newsom said. “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. Approximately 499 nursing homes will be provided 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 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.
* Orders vaccines and associated supplies (e.g. syringes, needles, personal protective equipment).
* Ensures cold storage for the vaccine.
* Provides on-site administration of the vaccine to all residents and staff.