COVID-19: Vaccination frequently asked questions (FAQ)
What is the role of CVS Health in administering COVID-19 vaccines?
CVS Health is currently playing a prominent role in administering COVID-19 vaccinations to priority high-risk populations and will participate in helping to vaccinate members of the general public once the vaccines are made available for that population.
As part of the vaccine rollout, on February 2, 2021, the CDC announced the next phase of the vaccination program – the Federal Pharmacy Program. As part of this program, CVS Health has received limited vaccine supply from the federal government to vaccinate eligible populations in 17 states.
Additionally, CVS Health is currently working directly with several states to support their programs to immunize other priority populations, including health care workers, frontline essential workers and seniors, in a very limited number of CVS Pharmacy locations. In these locations, criteria for vaccination and vaccine supply are defined and supplied by the state.
CVS Health has also been selected by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as one of two providers to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to residents and staff of long-term care facilities and CVS Health teams are now administering COVID-19 vaccines at facilities in 49 states and Washington, DC.
Once we enter the general population phase of vaccine administration in the coming months, CVS Health has capacity to administer 20-25 million shots a month and can be counted on to meet the nation’s needs at scale, with approximately 50,000 health care providers prepared to administer vaccines and plans for their administration in our pharmacy locations nationwide when supply is available.
On February 19, CVS Health announced the launch of a community-based strategy to address potential inequities related to COVID-19 vaccine access in vulnerable communities, with a particular focus on Black and Hispanic populations. The strategy includes proactive patient outreach, community-based partnerships and vaccine clinics, and robust, education-focused marketing, all aimed at increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates.
COVID-19 vaccine administration at CVS Pharmacy FAQs
Can patients make an appointment at CVS.com?
Eligible customers are now able to schedule an appointment on cvs.com, effective February 11. Please visit cvs.com frequently to check for available appointments. Customers will be able to schedule their vaccinations—both the initial shot and the required second dose—at CVS.com or through the CVS app. Anyone requiring assistance with the scheduling tool or without access to a computer or mobile device is encouraged to contact CVS Customer Service.
When will CVS Health begin vaccinating in all 50 states?
CVS Pharmacy will continue to expand the number of states where we are able to administer the vaccine as vaccine supply increases. Once the vaccine is available to the general population, we expect to vaccinate in CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide with the ability to administer up to 20-25 million shots per month, provided adequate supply is available.
What processes are in place to manage and ensure appropriate second dose administration (depending on the authorized vaccine)?
When patients make an appointment for their initial shot online or through the CVS app, they are prompted to schedule an appointment for their second dose at the same time. The second dose is scheduled within the appropriate timeframe, allowing enough time for a potential reschedule of the appointment, if needed. CVS Health has implemented a detailed tracking system to make sure we know who received which vaccine and to help ensure they get the second dose of the same vaccine. Upon receiving their first dose, patients are provided with a vaccine card with all relevant vaccination information. Detailed reporting will be shared with state, local or territorial public health authorities.
Are other pharmacy chains also contracting with federal government?
Yes, all the major national chains and several regional chains are helping the government administer as many vaccinations as possible. Pharmacies participating in the administration of the vaccine can be found here.
Is getting the COVID-19 vaccine similar to getting a flu vaccine?
Yes, the process will be very similar to receiving a flu vaccine, including scheduling an appointment online at CVS.com or through the CVS app. CVS Health has ample experience in safely administering vaccines, including millions of flu shots every year.
Long-term care facility vaccine administration FAQs
How is CVS Health working with the CDC to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to residents and staff of long-term care facilities?
CVS Health has partnered with the CDC to be one of the official COVID-19 Vaccination Program Providers in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. More than 40,000 long-term care facilities across the country selected CVS Health to provide COVID-19 vaccines to residents and staff, and CVS Health teams are now administering COVID-19 vaccines at facilities in 49 states and Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
The program provides end-to-end management of the COVID-19 vaccination process, including cold chain management, on-site vaccinations and fulfillment of reporting requirements to facilitate safe vaccination of this critical population, while reducing the burden on facilities and state and local health departments. State officials set the start dates and decide which types of long-term care facilities to activate first, and the number of vaccines we administer will continue to rise as more facilities are activated by the states. We report vaccination figures to state and federal agencies and also make national and state-level figures publicly available online every weekday.
CVS Health staff are familiar with the long-term care setting and population, having regularly operated annual, on-site seasonal flu vaccination clinics at thousands of assisted living facilities and having provided COVID-19 testing services in skilled nursing facilities during 2020.
As of February 2, CVS Health had administered the first round of COVID-19 vaccine doses to nearly 8,000 skilled nursing facilities across the country. Administration of second doses are more than 60 percent complete.
Our dedicated health care professionals are reaching long-term care residents and staff as soon as possible based on activation dates selected by the states, while navigating the challenges of a complex rollout.