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Trump Admin Declares Drug Stores Deal to Distribute Free COVID Vaccinations

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Trump Admin Declares Drug Stores Deal to Distribute Free COVID Vaccinations
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Federal health authorities have reached an agreement with clinics across the U.S. to distribute free COVID-19 vaccines after they have been licensed and made available to the public.

The goal is to get a COVID-19 vaccine like a flu shot.

Thursday’s deal with large chain pharmacy stores, food shop pharmacy, and other chains includes about 3 out of 5 hospitals in all 50 states and U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico.

“The vast majority of Americans live within five miles of a pharmacy,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, calling the deal “a crucial step in ensuring that all Americans have access to secure and reliable COVID-19 vaccines when available.”

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The list of hospitals that entered the delivery alliance includes discount retailers such as Rite Aid and Walgreens, supermarket pharmacy stores such as Albertsons and Publix, and big-box stores such as Costco and Walmart.

The partnership follows a deal between CVS and Walgreens to deliver vaccines to nursing homes and to prescribe vaccinations.

Vaccine hope has improved after pharmaceutical company Pfizer revealed earlier this week that early results indicated that its vaccine was 90% successful.

Pfizer has undertaken its own vaccine research and development, while other manufacturers have been working under the White House-backed initiative dubbed Operation Warp Pace, which seeks to produce vaccines as quickly as they are licensed.

Yet Pfizer already has connections to Project Warp Pace, which has signed a contract to supply 100 million doses of its vaccine, with the government being willing to take 500 million additional doses.

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Officials claim the initial stocks will be restricted and allocated to states for high-priority communities such as health care personnel and first responders.

Thursday’s deal with pharmacy is meant to serve as a buffer, enabling the delivery of vaccinations as stocks become accessible, however until there is sufficiently for the government to step back and let the private sector manage stuff.

Currently there are no licenced vaccines for COVID-19, but authorities state they expect one or more vaccines to be approved by the end of this year.

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