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CVS begins vaccinations at long-term care facilities

CVS Health launched its COVID-19 vaccination program in the second half of December for long-term care facilities, whose residents have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

CVS Pharmacy teams will administer the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine in facilities across 12 states, including Nevada, in the initial rollout. The company expects to vaccinate up to 4 million residents and staff at more than 40,000 long-term care facilities through the program.

“Today’s rollout is the culmination of months of internal planning and demonstrates how the private sector can use its expertise to help solve some of our most critical challenges,” said Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Health. “I’m grateful for the herculean efforts of everyone involved, including our health care professionals who will be deployed throughout the country to bring peace of mind to long-term care facility residents, staff, and their loved ones.”

In Nevada, there was a total of 10,041 confirmed cases in the state-licensed facilities, as of Dec. 24, since the pandemic began. Of those, 6,194 cases were among residents and 3,847 cases were among staff. There were also 562 deaths among patients and 17 deaths among staff at those facilities. These totals include correctional, child care, skilled nursing and assisted living, along with other types of state-licensed facilities.

Nye County’s facilities have had a total of 82 confirmed cases in all facility types and six deaths.

According to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Analytics, a majority of the COVID-19 cases in facilities in Nye County (97%) were reported starting in November, with over half of those being reported from Nov. 1-10.

As of Dec. 24, since the start of the pandemic, state data shows Inspirations Senior Living, an assisted living facility in Pahrump, has had one case, a staff member. Pahrump Health and Rehabilitation Center, a skilled nursing facility, has had 61 confirmed cases, 43 residents/patients and 18 staff members, and six deaths among residents/patients, according to state records.

DHHS’ Office of Analytics’ data shows that 70% of the cases occurred between Nov. 1-15 at Pahrump Health and Rehab.

Pahrump Health and Rehabilitation Center did not return requests for comments.

CVS vaccination rollout plan

CVS Pharmacy teams will make three visits to each long-term care facility to ensure residents and staff receive their initial shot and critical booster.

The majority of residents and staff will be fully vaccinated three to four weeks after the first visit, depending on which vaccine they receive. CVS Health expects to complete its long-term care facility vaccination effort in approximately 12 weeks.

CVS Health will administer COVID-19 vaccinations starting this week in Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Vermont. Vaccinations will begin in 36 more states and the District of Columbia on Dec. 28. Puerto Rico will activate on Jan. 4.

The long-term care facility vaccination effort is a precursor to the eventual availability of COVID-19 vaccines at all CVS Pharmacy locations throughout the country subject to product availability and prioritization of populations, which will be determined by states. Vaccines in a retail setting will be offered on an appointment-only basis via CVS.com or through the CVS Pharmacy app, and there will be a dedicated 800 number for people without online access. CVS Pharmacy will have the capacity to administer 20-25 million shots per month.

“Vaccinating one of our most vulnerable populations is the latest milestone in our multifaceted pandemic response, which includes testing more than 10 million people for the virus since March,” said Karen Lynch, executive vice president of CVS Health. “The eventual availability of COVID-19 vaccines in communities across the country will bring us one step closer to overcoming the most significant health challenge of our lifetime.”

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