Fox News - Walgreens on Friday began to administer Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, which became the first such shot last week to receive emergency use approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
Walgreens pharmacists began administering the vaccine at nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Ohio and Connecticut, the company said in a statement provided to FOX Business.
Beginning next week, the company will provide vaccinations to some 800 long-term care facilities across 12 states, “including many in rural and urban medically-underserved areas,” Walgreens said.
“The company will continue to expand vaccinations to nearly 3 million residents and staff at 35,000 long-term care facilities that have selected Walgreens as their vaccine provider as states finalize their distribution plans and receive vaccine allocations,” the company said.
"Walgreens is very proud to be a part of this historic milestone to begin administering Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to our most vulnerable populations,” said Walgreens President John Standley, in a statement. “With more than a decade of experience administering various vaccines, we have the deep expertise to support this unprecedented effort to allow our nation to emerge from this pandemic.”
Alongside Walgreens, CVS has also partnered with facilities nationwide to deliver Pfizer's vaccine.
As of Nov. 18, more than 25,000 long-term care sites have partnered with CVS to provide vaccinations at their facilities, according to the CVS website.
The retail pharmacy chain said the number of clinics will be determined by the number of long-term care facilities that select CVS Health as their vaccine partner through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey process.
Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense partnered with Walgreens and CVS to provide and administer COVID-19 vaccines to residents and staff of long-term care facilities across the nation.
Both companies also reached an agreement with federal health officials to distribute free vaccines to the general public once they become available. The goal is to make getting a COVID-19 vaccine similar to getting a flu shot.
Chains like Rite Aid, supermarket drug stores like Albertsons and Publix, and big-box stores like Costco and Walmart have also agreed to distribute vaccines once they become available for the general public beyond priority groups.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has said these partnerships are "a critical step toward making sure all Americans have access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines when they are available.”