U.S. pharmacy retailers Walgreens and CVS Health both began coronavirus vaccinations at long-term facilities late last week.
Vaccinations started at facilities in Ohio, Connecticut and Florida, the companies announced Friday. The inoculation program is set to expand into other states starting this week.
CVS Health and Walgreens have partnered with the federal government to administer the vaccines free of charge to long-term care facilities, and more than 99% of skilled nursing facilities have signed up for the program.
Walgreens on Friday detailed that it will provide COVID-19 vaccines at approximately 800 long-term care facilities across 12 states starting Monday. Overall, the company expects to vaccinate about 3 million residents and staff at 35,000 long-term care facilities, including skilled nursing, assisted living and other locations.
CVS vaccinated about 1,500 people at facilities in those states on Friday. The company also will begin servicing 12 additional states this week and will vaccinate residents and staff at more than 40,000 long-term care facilities overall.
Long-term care residents who received some of the first doses welcomed the vaccine’s arrival.
“It was easier than what I have seen on television,” Patricia John, a 93-year old resident at Sundale Rehabilitation and Long-Term Care in Morgantown, WV, said after receiving the shot. “It was such a quick shot that no one should be afraid.”