Health officials are blaming Walgreens and CVS for the slow rollout of the Covid-19 for nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
According to CBS News, the federal government chose Walgreens and CVS as the main leaders in distributing the coronavirus vaccine. Critics say the vaccine rollout was poorly put together and mismanaged, resulting in more lives being lost amongst the elderly and long-term care community.
“There are outbreaks right now in long-term care facilities,” said Dr. Karl Steinberg, the chief medical officer of Mariner Health Central.” I have no doubt that people are dying who with a prompt rollout of the vaccine didn’t have to.” Steinberg runs 20 nursing, assisted living, and rehab facilities in California.
CBS News reports that CVS and Walgreens are about a month behind in schedule. Last year, Trump’s secretary of health and human services told CBS that nursing homes could receive their vaccinations by Christmas. However, Walgreens and CVS never confirmed that would happen. CVS CEO Larry Merlo said the rollout would be expedited. “We’re ready to go,” Merlo said in a virtual meeting with investors and analysts at the time. “Once the vaccine hits our facilities, we expect to be in those long-term care facilities within 48 hours later beginning to provide vaccinations in the arms of what is our most vulnerable population.”
While CVS and Walgreens have declined to comment on the criticism on Monday, CVS said its rollout efforts are “on schedule based on program parameters.” Last week, Walgreens said it expects to wrap up its first doses in nursing homes this week, CBS reports.