Federal government announces steps to improve COVID-19 vaccination efforts

Feb. 3, 2021

As the U.S. surpasses 26 million COVID-19 infections, President Joe Biden announced steps February 2, 2021, to implement a comprehensive national strategy to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. These steps include increasing the vaccine supply to states, tribes, and territories to 10.5 million doses nationwide beginning this week, as well as increasing funding to jurisdictions to vaccinate more people, according to a news release from the White House.

Starting next week, the first phase of the federal pharmacy program. These new steps will help meet the goal of administering 100 million shots in 100 days and expanding access to vaccines to more Americans in the coming weeks, according to the release.

As part of the efforts to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines, starting on February 11, those eligible for the vaccine will have the opportunity to be vaccinated at select pharmacies across the country through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination. This program is a public-private partnership with 21 national pharmacy partners and networks of independent pharmacies representing over 40,000 pharmacy locations nationwide.

Select retail pharmacies nationwide will receive limited vaccine supply to vaccinate priority groups at no cost. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) worked with states to select initial pharmacy partners based on factors, such as their ability to reach some of the populations most at risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

The Biden Administration also announced that the government plans to retroactively reimburse states for FEMA-eligible services – including masks, gloves, emergency feeding actions, sheltering at risk populations, and mobilization of the National Guard – back dated to the beginning of the pandemic in January 2020.

Some vaccine participants will include Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Rite Aid, Kroger, Publix, Costco, Albertsons, Hy-Vee, Meijer, H-E-B, Food Lion, Giant Food, Stop & Shop, Winn-Dixie, Topco, CPESN USA, GeriMed, Good Neighbor Pharmacy, AmerisourceBergen, Health Mart, Innovatix, LeaderNET, Medicine Shoppe, Cardinal Health’s PSAOs, and Managed Health Care Associates.

Visit the White House for more news