CVS Health plans on vaccinating more than 63,000 long-term care residents and workers in Minnesota, with shots to protect against COVID-19 beginning just after the Christmas holiday.
Vaccinations for the general public at CVS Pharmacy locations aren't expected until next year, the Rhode Island-based pharmacy operator said in a Monday announcement. That's also the expected timeline for general coronavirus vaccinations at pharmacies operated by Illinois-based Walgreens.
Starting Monday, CVS Health says it will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines at long-term care facilities in 12 states before expanding the effort next week to Minnesota and 35 other states. Shots administered by the company are scheduled to begin Dec. 28, at 599 skilled nursing and assisted-living facilities in Minnesota.
"The total number of individuals to be vaccinated across those 599 facilities is 63,238," a spokeswoman for CVS Health said by e-mail. "These numbers are subject to change though as clinics are scheduled and additional logistics worked out."
Details for vaccinations at long-term care facilities are the next phase of the nationwide rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, which hospitals in the Twin Cities and Duluth launched last week for health care workers.
Illinois-based Walgreens announced plans Friday to begin vaccinations in long-term care settings this month as well, but didn't specify whether Minnesota facilities are part of the plan.
CVS Health didn't say which vaccine it will administer at long-term care facilities in Minnesota. Earlier this month, federal regulators authorized for emergency use a coronavirus vaccine from the pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer. A second vaccine from the company Moderna was cleared Friday for use by federal regulators, as well.
CVS didn't say how the doses for long-term care will be split among residents and workers. Pharmacy teams will make three visits to each long-term care facility to provide the initial shots plus boosters. Most residents and staff will be fully vaccinated three to four weeks after the first visit, the company said. All vaccinations are expected to be complete within 12 weeks.
Eventually, vaccines will be available to individuals at CVS Pharmacy locations "subject to project availability and prioritization of populations, which will be determined by states," the company said in a news release. CVS and Walgreens say vaccines will be made available in stores by appointment.
Walgreens is "prepared to expand access to the general population through their more than 9,000 stores once COVID-19 vaccines become available more broadly in 2021," a company spokeswoman said in a Friday e-mail. To administer the vaccine, Walgreens plans on hiring about 25,000 people including pharmacists and other health care workers.
CVS Health says it is hiring 10,000 pharmacy technicians and workers to provide immunizations.
Christopher Snowbeck • 612-673-4744