The Biden administration will begin distributing COVID-19 vaccines directly to retail pharmacies as early as next week.
The administration will announce Tuesday, which will detail its plan to provide a limited supply of vaccines to pharmacies throughout the country to meet the growing demand for the vaccine and speed up the slow rollout that has frustrated citizens.
While many pharmacies have already begun administering the vaccine, the new federal program is separate from the one already in place to have CVS and Walgreens vaccinate long-term care facility residents.
This program will provide about 1 million doses weekly in its beginning dry run stages. That number is expected to increase gradually. The first shots under this new order could be administered next week.
Since the beginning of the rollout, the federal government has sent nearly 50 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to states. According to the CDC, over 26 million people have received their first dose of Moderna or Pfizer’s vaccine. Almost 6 million have received their second dose.