WALGREENS AND CVS CHOSEN BY HHS FOR CORONAVIRUS VACCINE ADMINISTRATIONby John G. Baresky on 10/18/20
Chain drugstore giants pivotal players in upcoming HHS COVID-19 immunization initiative
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has contracted with Walgreens and CVS Health to develop programs to administer coronavirus immunizations to residents / patients that live in assisted living / residential care homes plus long term care / skilled nursing facilities.
Operators of the facilities will be able to choose which of the two companies they prefer to provide them with coronavirus immunization services free of charge. They can also decide not to participate in the program or possibly request another provider, such as a local independent pharmacy or other viable care provider, to administer the immunizations.
Walgreens and CVS staff will administer the coronavirus vaccines through on-site care at facilities
The program is structured around Walgreens (NASDAQ: WBA) and CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) who will work with management and owners of the facilities to arrange for space and plan calendar schedules for residents and staff to be immunized on-site. Depending on the facilities and number of staff and residents at each, the on-site immunization proceedings are expected to potentially require 3 days of appointments over the course of 2 months.
Vaccine dosing compliance, vaccine quantities and coordination of staff are 3 pivotal program elements
The scheduling and logistics can vary depending on the type of COVID-19 vaccine being administered from various companies. Some manufacturers have vaccines in clinical trials that require only 1 injection and others that require 2 injections spaced apart by weeks or months. The initiative is a massive undertaking. It is estimated there are more than 30,000 assisted living facilities and approximately 15,000 skilled nursing facilities in the United States.
Walgreens, CVS competing for volume, bragging rights as care providers in national health crisis
For Deerfield, Illinois based Walgreens and CVS Health based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, the program is reminiscent of their competitive participation in the launch of Medicare Part D in 2006. Each will be seeking to be the most chosen vendor by the participating facilities and be diligently planning on how to execute their progams with a minimum of issues and a maximum level of profitability.