Scott Eisen/CVS Health via AP Images)
Written by The Business Journal Staff
Clovis will be one among a list of communities where CVS Health will begin administering Covid-19 vaccines to eligible populations beginning Feb. 11.
Altogether, CVS plans to distribute 81,900 doses in communities throughout the state. Bakersfield and Clovis are the only Central Valley cities named that will participate in the program.
Just what CVS locations in Clovis that will offer the shot was not revealed Tuesday. Appointments could become available for booking as early as Feb. 9 as stores receive shipments from the federal government.
Eligible individuals will meet state criteria for vaccination, which includes health care workers, long-term care facility residents and people 65 years of age or older, with priority for those 75 years or older.
Patients must register in advance at CVS.com or through the CVS Pharmacy app, and people without online access can contact CVS customer service: (800) 746-7287. Walk-in vaccinations without an appointment will not be provided.
The availability of COVID-19 vaccines in California is part of an initial 11 state rollout and includes approximately 335 CVS Pharmacy locations across Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas 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.
The CVS effort is part of a campaign to distribute 1 million doses to 6,500 pharmacies across the country.
The partnership with drugstores was originally announced by the Trump administration in November. At that time, no coronavirus vaccines had been approved. Participating are major chains like CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid, big box stores such as Walmart and Costco, and supermarket pharmacies.
The number of participating pharmacies and the allocation of vaccines are expected to accelerate as drug makers increase production. The White House said the ultimate goal was to distribute the vaccines through more than 40,000 pharmacies nationwide. State and local guidelines will determine who is eligible to get a shot at their neighborhood pharmacy. Availability will be limited at first.
“Getting it into pharmacies is a viable approach,” said Dan Mendelson, founder of the health care industry consulting firm Avalere Health. “The pharmacies know how to move people in and out.”