As concerns regarding variants of the virus pile up, the United States President Joe Biden's administration publicized the vaccine rollout on Tuesday.
Biden announced that they will be expanding the points of access of receiving vaccine shots for Americans as they will start the direct shipments of COVID-19 vaccines to retail pharmacies across the nation.
During a press briefing, Covid-19 response coordinator of the White House, Jeff Zients, shared that the Biden administration came up with the plan as millions of Americans are turning to their local pharmacies doe their daily medicines, flu shots, and any medical-related needs, that is why they picked the location.
He also added that the majority of the U.S. communities, pharmacies are readily accessible and within the five-mile radius of houses of Americans in the community.
According to CNN, Zients also mentioned that the program of the Biden administration will begin its rollout on February 11, and will start at 6,500 stores across the nation which are strategically selected as they will receive a total of 1 million doses of vaccines.
Once, the initial rollout will be done, Zients stated that they will proceed with the expansion plan.
Moreover, the Biden administration also has dissipated that they will be increasing the allocation of the vaccines on a weekly basis that goes to the states in the U.S., territories, and tribes by an additional 5%, which will bring the weekly purchase of the vaccine into 10.5 million minimum.
In addition, the Covid-19 response coordinator of the White House also shared that states who provided eligible services since the start of the pandemic in January 2020 will receive full reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
With an estimated price tag between $3-5 billion, Zients explained that the reimbursements will revolve around personal protective equipment and the mobilization of the National Guard, USA Today reported.
Also, Zients mentioned during the press briefing that they sight to manage expectations for the rollout of the vaccines to the pharmacies.
He also shared that vaccine makers Moderna and Pfizer are scaling up in their production in order to provide the extra doses.
But he clarified that during the early phase of the rollout, many pharmacies around the country will not have the said vaccine, or will only have a limited supply.
But despite the limited numbers of pharmacies that will receive the vaccines in the program's initial rollout, Zients also stated that the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working with states to select pharmacy sites that have the abilities to reach the portion of the population in an area with the highest risk of acquiring the virus, which includes the socially vulnerable communities, CNBC reported.
On Tuesday, before the public announcement made by the Biden administration regarding the vaccine rollout, the administration officials briefed representatives coming from major pharmacy chains across the nation.
Based on the information regarding the vaccine rollout, the officials of the White House listed 21 national pharmacy chains that will participate in the initial phase of the program, some of which are CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid.