Pamela Cruz. Peninsula 360 Press [P360P].
The California government has partnered with CVS and Walgreens pharmacies to administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to residents and staff of long-term care facilities at no state or local cost.
So, starting yesterday, Monday, December 28, CVS and Walgreens began administering the doses in senior homes, a task that will take approximately three to four weeks, and will then vaccinate staff and residents in assisted living, residential care and other long-term care facilities.
There will be approximately 499 senior households receiving vaccines from CVS and 357 from Walgreens. The vaccines will be administered by pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and nurses, the state government said in a statement.
Similarly, he noted that pharmacy technicians are participating under a recent Board of Pharmacy exemption that requires proper supervision under California law and specialized training.
"By leveraging the resources of CVS and Walgreens, we can effectively implement vaccines for residents and staff in our long-term care facilities, who are at higher risk for COVID-19 transmission, and do so at no cost to the state or local government," the governor said.
The program will allow counties to take advantage of the staff of these pharmacies to administer the vaccine more broadly, as they will be the ones who will go directly to the care centers.
While skilled nursing facilities will receive the vaccine from CVS and Walgreens staff.
"This partnership is an opportunity to increase 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.
Importantly, the program coordinates on-site vaccine clinic dates directly with each facility, where pharmacy staff will visit each site several times to ensure that all residents and employees who wish to be vaccinated receive doses.
It also orders vaccines and supplies - e.g., syringes, needles, personal protective equipment - ensures cold storage of vaccine, and provides on-site vaccine administration to all residents and staff.