SALT LAKE CITY — Drug store outlets CVS and Walgreens have agreed to send some of their COVID-19 vaccine doses to other Utah providers.
The stores will transfer 28,275 doses to the Utah Department of Health over the next 10 days.
Gov. Spencer Cox worked with CVS and Walgreens on the transfer. Both stores have enough of the vaccine on-hand to provide for scheduled vaccinations at long-term care facilities in the state.
“Our top priority is to get as many vaccines into the arms of Utahns as quickly as possible,” Cox said. “We’re grateful to our partners Walgreens and CVS as well as the CDC for their help in meeting this goal.”
There will be no interruption for residents and staff of long-term care facilities in receiving the vaccine, the state reported Tuesday.
The additional vaccine doses from CVS and Walgreens will be administered to populations already eligible to receive it.
Both pharmacies responded to FOX 13's request for comment on the topic:
"The federal government determines weekly COVID-19 vaccine allotments based on facility bed count and then doubles that for facility staffing, so CVS Pharmacy’s vaccine allocations are based on an estimate held in queue, not the actual amount of vaccine ordered and used for a clinic at a facility. True occupancy is less than bed count, and staff uptake has been lower than expected.
"If our vaccine allotment is projected to exceed what we may need, we will proactively ask the state to reclaim or defer a portion of that allocation as appropriate. In most cases, excess doses aren’t in our possession since they were only an initial projection and are being ordered and shipped to our stores as we need to draw them down for upcoming long-term care facility visits. Utah Governor Spencer Cox’s decision to transfer vaccine from the long-term care pharmacy partnership to other vaccine providers in the state helps ensure that these valuable doses will be put to the best use. We look forward to continuing to partner with the state on this important initiative, and to complete vaccinations at all our nearly 200 long-term care partner facilities where residents and staff are eager to return to normalcy."
"In states or jurisdictions where the number of vaccines needed for the Long-Term Care Program is trending lower than what facilities initially requested, we are working with states and jurisdictions to determine how they would like to re-allocate those vaccines, which may include expanding vaccinations to additional prioritized individuals in our stores or returning the vaccine to the state to administer according to their needs. We are working hand-in-hand with states to achieve the shared goal of vaccinating our most vulnerable populations as quickly as possible."