RICHMOND, Va., — CVS Health pharmacies are partnering with the federal government to get the COVID-19 vaccine to medically under-served communities.
The national drug store chain will soon be one of 21 retail pharmacies across the nation that will receive part of a one million dose stockpile.
CVS has partnered with the Virginia Department of Health to distribute their share of vaccines, according to State Vaccination Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula.
Avula told reporters during Governor Ralph Northam’s COVID-19 press conference on Friday that Virginians will not be required to sign up again in order to make an appointment.
“There are thousands of people who are already pre-registered through health departments,” Avula said. “We are still working through some of those details, but our hope and intent is that they will integrate with our strategy and not create another pathway for registration.”
CVS officials said the first shipment of doses is set to arrive in Virginia on Feb. 9, with the first round of administration beginning Feb. 11.
Registration for slots will not begin before Feb. 9, a company official said.
The increase in dosages were activated via the Federal Pharmacy Partnership Program.
Officials with the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) told reporters on Friday that 6,500 pharmacies will initially begin with the roll-out.
They said there are 45,000 total pharmacies that could participate, but the limited supply of doses remains the biggest roadblock.
The federal program stemmed from an effort by the Obama-Biden administration to enact a nationwide vaccination plan through pharmacies after the H1N1 virus in 2009.
The pharmacies will be measured against four performance metrics to ensure equitable distribution of the vaccines: waste, through-put, social venerable index and data recording.
The efforts are focused on reaching the medically under-served communities. CVS and the other pharmacies participating will create mobile clinics that will travel to select neighborhoods and places of worships.
Virginia and 11 other states will take part in the launch of the program.
The vaccine will be available in Fredericksburg, Lynchburg, Martinsville, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, Roanoke, Stafford and Virginia Beach.
CVS has not yet announced which stores will be participating.
CVS said Virginia stores will initially receive 28,000 doses, which are supplied through the company’s partnership with the federal government.
Doses will be administered only to those who register, and are only be available to those who meet the state’s vaccination criteria. Virginia is currently vaccinating individuals in the Phase 1A and 1B categories.
To register, visit CVS.com, use the CVS Pharmacy app or call (800) 746-7287 if you do not have access to a computer.
Learn more about the program by clicking here.