A resident in a wheelchair at an assisted dwelling facility in Boston, MA on September 02, 2020. houses.

Craig F. Walker | Boston Globe | Getty Photos

Hundreds of long-term care and assisted dwelling services have already opted into the Trump administration’s program with CVS Health and Walgreens to manage coronavirus vaccines to seniors, a senior administration official stated Friday.

Final week, the Division of Well being and Human Companies announced that it had struck a deal with the 2 pharmacy chains to manage vaccines to the aged at long-term care and assisted dwelling services freed from cost. This system is elective, officers stated, and services started choosing which pharmacy they most popular on Monday.

HHS estimates there are about 15,000 long-term care services in addition to a further 35,000 assisted dwelling services in the US. Between 9,000 and 10,000 services have opted into this system because it was introduced final week, Paul Mango, a deputy chief of employees at HHS, informed reporters on Friday.

“We are going to stand by and see what else occurs, however a really sturdy early response to that providing,” he stated.

The information comes as states have less than two weeks to arrange vaccine distribution facilities throughout the nation to satisfy the Nov. 1 deadline set by the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention — a monumental endeavor made much more tough by the truth that a vaccine hasn’t been cleared by the Meals and Drug Administration.

On Thursday, an FDA advisory group met to debate the standards needed to ensure a Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective. On the assembly, FDA officers promised that any vaccine would endure rigorous testing earlier than being distributed to the general public.

As soon as a vaccine is accredited, it’ll probably be launched in levels, with the aged and health-care employees getting it first. Facilities for Medicare and Medicaid Companies Administrator Seema Verma stated final week that the CVS-Walgreens deal will be certain that nursing houses, which have been hit laborious by the virus, “are on the entrance of the road for the COVID vaccine and can convey their grueling trial to a detailed as swiftly as attainable.”

Mango stated final week that the federal authorities was in contact with different pharmacies in addition to CVS and Walgreens however stated that they might not “ship on these capabilities and our executional necessities.”

“These two gamers have been doing this for some time,” he stated. “They’ve demonstrated the flexibility from an IT perspective, from a coaching and personnel perspective, from an asset perspective.”

On Friday, Mango additionally stated he’s “optimistic” that the administration will resolve any points round the price of a coronavirus vaccine. The administration has pledged to supply a vaccine free of charge to each American who wants it.

He additionally touted progress in vaccine trials backed by the U.S., together with Moderna, which introduced Thursday that it had accomplished enrollment for its part three trial.

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