First of NC long-term care facilities receive COVID-19 vaccines

Residents and staffers at nursing homes and long-term care facilities across North Carolina began receiving the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Monday.

CVS and Walgreens pharmacies are administering the vaccines, but because of privacy concerns are not identifying the specific locations receiving the first shots.

According to CVS, nearly 128,000 people will get vaccinated at nearly 900 locations during the next three months across the state.

"We'll send teams in, they'll have full personal protective equipment, and have the vaccines with them and go in and vaccinate all the people who work in the long-term care facilities as well as all the people who have consented to have the vaccinations who are patients there," said Troy Brennan, CVS Health's Chief Medical Officer.

Brennan said that will be the process for the first of three visits those teams will make to each facility.

"Then we'll go back again and yet again to do the second dose and to make sure we capture anyone else who has come through the system up to that point," he said.

According to the CDC, written consent is not required by federal law for COVID-19 vaccination.

However, the CDC said residents' consent should be documented in their chart and pharmacy partners may require that be verbal, email, or written consent before vaccination.

Also, before administering that shot, the CDC said pharmacy teams will work with long-term care facilities to ensure staff and residents get the Emergency Use Authorization fact sheet explaining the risks and benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine they're getting and what to expect.

If a resident is unable to make medical decisions because of decreased mental capacity or illness, the fact sheet will be given to the person appointed to make those decisions on their behalf, according to the CDC.

CVS has nearly 30,000 pharmacists across the chain, trained to immunize, said Chris Cox, CVS Health Senior VP, Pharmacy.

Cox said the company is also training an additional 20,000 pharmacy technicians to administer COVID-19 vaccines.

Walgreens is sharing only that its national strategy includes vaccinating 3 million people.
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