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CVS, Walgreens to start vaccinations at SC nursing homes

The pharmacies will begin vaccinations on December 28.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — CVS Health and Walgreens are going to begin vaccinating people at long-term health facilities in South Carolina within the coming week.

The companies announced Monday they'll start their vaccination programs for places such as nursing homes beginning December 28. 

CVS Health said it expects to vaccinate up to four million residents and staff  nationwide at over 40,000 long-term care facilities through the program. 

"We'll go out to these clinics starting December 28th and we'll vaccinate all willing patients. We hope to vaccine 100 percent in order to make our steps to really get immunity to this disease," said Richard Kimball, the Region Director for CVS Pharmacy in South Carolina. 

He says they'll be going to almost 700 clinics here in the Palmetto State in the next few weeks.

"I think that the relationships that we've built through the flu clinics, through the relationships that we've built through our omnicare channel have absolutely showed people that they can trust CVS and that's the reason why we're chosen for many of these clinics," he says.

Most of the vaccine they'll be using is the one produced by Moderna, which just got emergency use authorization last Friday from the FDA. That vaccine is easier to store since it doesn't have to be stored at temperatures dozens of degrees before freezing, Instead, it can be refrigerated using more common devices. 

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Like the Pfizer vaccine, a second shot will be needed for patients who receive the first one. CVS says they'll schedule a clinic 28 days after to make sure people get their second dose.

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"It's really important that all of the people out there in the state of South Carolina, everybody everywhere, understands how important it is we get this vaccination," he says. "I would just encourage every single family member, every single friend, every single person to go out and get this vaccine. If we want to end this virus, we need to get this vaccine and we encourage everyone to come to CVS when it's available."

Nursing home and long-term care facilities are part of Phase 1A of the vaccine rollout, which includes staff at hospitals. CVS said in few months, they'll have the capacity to administer 25 to 25 million shots a month. 

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