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 amenities have already opted into the Trump administration’s program with CVS Health and Walgreens to manage coronavirus vaccines to seniors, a senior administration official mentioned 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 amenities freed from cost. This system is optionally available, officers mentioned, and amenities started deciding on which pharmacy they most well-liked on Monday.

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

“We’ll stand by and see what else occurs, however a really strong early response to that providing,” he mentioned.

The information comes as states have less than two weeks to arrange vaccine distribution facilities throughout the nation to fulfill the Nov. 1 deadline set by the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention — a monumental enterprise made much more troublesome 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 bear rigorous testing earlier than being distributed to the general public.

As soon as a vaccine is accepted, it is going to seemingly be launched in levels, with the aged and health-care employees getting it first. Facilities for Medicare and Medicaid Companies Administrator Seema Verma mentioned final week that the CVS-Walgreens deal will be sure that nursing houses, which have been hit arduous by the virus, “are on the entrance of the road for the COVID vaccine and can carry their grueling trial to an in depth as swiftly as potential.”

Mango mentioned final week that the federal authorities was in contact with different pharmacies apart from CVS and Walgreens however mentioned that they may not “ship on these capabilities and our executional necessities.”

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

On Friday, Mango additionally mentioned he’s “optimistic” that the administration will resolve any points round the price of a coronavirus vaccine. The administration has pledged to offer a vaccine at no cost 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 section three trial.

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