Biden announces plan for using pharmacies for COVID-19 vaccine rollout
The Biden-Harris administration today announced the first phase of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 vaccination, which will strengthen efforts to vaccinate vulnerable populations through independent pharmacies and nationwide pharmacy chains.
Last week, Seventh District Virginia Democrat Abigail Spanberger led a bipartisan effort calling on the administration to implement lessons learned from states that have opted for a community pharmacist-led approach in its national COVID-19 vaccine distribution strategy.
According to the White House, select retail pharmacies nationwide will now receive limited vaccine supply to vaccinate priority groups at no cost.
Click here to read more about the effort.
“This announcement is a welcome step in expanding vaccination efforts here in Virginia and across the country. As Virginians face confusion and delays related to the vaccine rollout, I’ve heard from many community pharmacists here in Central Virginia who know that they have the knowledge and skills to provide much-needed support to our vaccination strategy,” Spanberger said. “In multiple states, we’ve seen how community pharmacists have the flexibility to cut through red tape and reduce headaches for patients in their communities. I’m glad that HHS is showing confidence in our independent pharmacies, their existing relationships with community members, and their willingness to boost the fight against this virus – and I remain committed to finding additional ways to make sure more Virginians receive the COVID-19 vaccine and can contribute to our recovery.”
In a letter sent to HHS Acting Secretary Norris Cochran last week, Spanberger and David B. McKinley (R-WV-01) pointed to states where community pharmacists have taken a larger leadership role and have seen a much faster distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to vulnerable populations, including nursing home residents.