Pharmacy giant CVS Health has announced it will start administering COVID-19 vaccinations at long-term facilities across the U.S., including in Minnesota.
CVS announced Monday that it will start vaccinating long-term care residents and staff in 12 states this week, with a further 36 states – including Minnesota – following the week starting Dec. 28.
An estimated 63,000 long-term care residents and staff at 599 facilities will get the shot via its program in Minnesota, per the Star Tribune.
Long-term and assisted living residents are among the most vulnerable to severe COVID-19, and both they and long-term care staff members are among the highest priority groups for the vaccine.
CVS employees will pay three visits to each long-term care and assisted living facility to administer the two doses required weeks apart.
CVS said its vaccination program is a precursor to the vaccine becoming available at its pharmacies, which it acknowledged won't be available until next year.
"Vaccinating one of our most vulnerable populations is the latest milestone in our multifaceted pandemic response, which includes testing more than 10 million people for the virus since March," said Karen S. Lynch, Executive Vice President of CVS Health.
"The eventual availability of COVID-19 vaccines in communities across the country will bring us one step closer to overcoming the most significant health challenge of our lifetime."
At this stage, it's not clear which vaccine CVS will be using, with both Pfizer and Moderna having vaccines approved for use in the U.S., though the Pfizer vaccine faces the challenges of requiring storage at -90F.