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February 05, 2021

Health Law Weekly

Administration to Ship Vaccines Directly to Pharmacies

  • February 05, 2021

The federal government will start shipping vaccines directly to select pharmacies as part of the administration’s efforts to ramp up distribution of and ensure equitable access to vaccinations across the country, the White House announced this week.

The direct pharmacy shipments will begin February 11, marking the first phase of the federal retail pharmacy program roll out. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention worked with the states to select initial pharmacies, which will receive a limited supply to vaccinate priority groups at no cost, according to an administration fact sheet.

Chain pharmacies participating in the program include Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Inc., Walmart, Inc., and Rite Aid Corp. Overall, the public-private partnership includes 21 national pharmacy partners and networks of independent pharmacies.

COVID-19 response coordinator Jeffry Zients also announced February 2 that the federal government starting this week will increase the weekly vaccine supply to states, tribes, and territories to 10.5 million doses nationwide, a 22% increase since the new administration took office January 20.

Meanwhile, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing February 2 on COVID-19 vaccine supply and distribution to the states. Health officials from Illinois, Michigan, West Virginia, Louisiana, and Colorado testified at the hearing.