The Biden administration is pushing a massive COVID vaccine rollout at pharmacies across the country.
The COVID-19 vaccine rollout is slow and complicated, but more vaccine is on its way. The Biden administration announced on Feb. 2 that it is moving to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines, freeing up more doses for states and distributing them to retail pharmacies next week, including several CVS chains in Texas.
The push comes amid new urgency to speed up vaccinations to prevent the spread of potentially more severe strains of the virus that has killed more than 445,000 people in the US.
Starting on Feb. 11, CVS will distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to 70 of its pharmacy locations across Texas. CVS announced that people could begin to schedule appointments on Feb. 9 as stores receive shipments of the vaccine.
To schedule your COVID vaccine via CVS, register at CVS.com, on the CVS app or by calling CVS customer service at 800-746-7287. CVS will not provide the vaccine to walk-in customers without an appointment.
CVS said that limited rollout in the state, which is sourced directly from the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination, will be approximately 38,000 total doses. Participating CVS pharmacies are in communities throughout Texas, including Abilene, Amarillo, Beaumont, Brownsville, El Paso, Houston, Laredo, Lubbock, Midland, Plano, San Antonio, and Waco. As more supply becomes available, the company will expand to more locations and offer additional appointments.
“One of our greatest strengths as a company is our presence in communities across the country, which makes us an ideal partner for administering vaccines in a safe, convenient, and familiar manner,” said Karen S. Lynch, president and chief executive officer, CVS Health, in a press release statement. “We continue to be grateful for the commitment of our frontline colleagues whose dedication has allowed us to deliver care and peace of mind throughout the pandemic.”
The availability of COVID-19 vaccines in Texas is part of an initial 11-state rollout. It includes approximately 335 CVS Pharmacy locations across California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia. Vaccines will eventually be available at CVS Pharmacy locations throughout the country, subject to product availability, with the capacity to administer 20–25 million shots per month.
Starting next week, one million doses will be distributed to some 6,500 pharmacies across the country, the White House said. The administration is also boosting by 500,000 the weekly allocation of vaccines sent directly to states and territories for the coming weeks, up to 10.5 million. It allows state and local governments to receive additional federal dollars to cover previously incurred expenses relating to the pandemic.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.