CVS Health Corporation, with its nearly 9,900 retail locations and 1,100 MinuteClinic locations, could be the ideal venue to vaccinate America. Today, many large-scale vaccination sites are located in stadiums, convention centers, and hospitals where lines can be hours long and records can be incomplete or inaccurate. At some of these places, the process is barely shy of chaos.
CVC has moved, and moved more aggressively, into the role as the nation’s vaccinations site, driven by the number of locations, and almost certainly the wider availability of doses. As the age groups that can get the vaccine widens and as vaccine production grows, the CVC role is likely to grow even larger.
Today, 20% of Americans have received at least one dose, according to the CDC. A total of 11% are fully vaccinated. At this point, 133,337,525 doses have been delivered. The nation passed the critical milestone of 100 million people who have been given a shot as this figure rose to 101,128,005.
Nevertheless, the toll of the disease in America is staggering. The Bing COVID-19 Tracker shows 29,506,986 confirmed cases so far and 535,758 fatal cases. Many epidemiologists think the confirmed case count is low by half because of poor testing and asymptomatic carriers.
Variants have become a primary cause of spread in the last several weeks. The New York Times reports that as many as 20% of new cases in America are caused by these. The CDC tracks three of these for the public and now reports they are already in 50 stats. They are the B.1.1.7 variant, B.1.351 variant, and P.1 variant.
CVS recently announced it would begin to vaccinate people in 29 states. These are Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York (now including New York City), Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania (now including Philadelphia), Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia. The program currently includes 1,200 stores and is governed by the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.
Karen S. Lynch, President and Chief Executive Officer, CVS Health said: “We’re increasing the number of active stores and expanding to additional states as fast as supply allows, with the capacity to administer 20 25 million shots per month.” The means the program has become a primary weapon against the disease.