The Biden administration will begin distributing COVID-19 vaccine doses directly to retail pharmacies in an effort to expedite vaccinations across the nation.
White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said the program will start with about 1 million doses sent to 6,500 pharmacies beginning next week. The number of pharmacies could ultimately each 40,000.
“This will provide more sites for people to get vaccinations in their communities,” Zients said. “And it’s an important component to delivering vaccines equitably.”
Zients said 10.5 million doses will be distributed to states this week, up 5% from last week and a 22% increase in weekly doses since President Joe Biden took office Jan. 20.
COVID-19 has killed more than 445,000 Americans, and infections have continued to mount despite the introduction of a pair of vaccines late in 2020.