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CVS To Begin Administering Vaccines in Va. on Friday

(Updated at 10:50 a.m.) CVS locations in Virginia, including in Arlington, will start administering COVID-19 vaccines tomorrow (Friday).

CVS pharmacies across the Commonwealth are fully booked with appointments, which are for now open to residents 65 and older.

More from a Virginia Dept. of Health press release (link added by ARLnow):

VDH worked closely with CVS over the last week to ensure that the CVS system follows Virginia’s priority guidelines and to provide an advance opportunity for eligible individuals already registered on VDH waiting lists. However, due to technological limitations with their national appointment system, CVS is unable to reserve appointments for pre-registered individuals. Virginia will continue to work towards a solution in partnership with other participating states and the federal government.

The federal program will supplement existing vaccination programs by providing 26,000 more vaccines to Virginians. CVS is the first of Virginia’s pharmacy partners in the federal pharmacy partnership to move forward with vaccinations. More pharmacies and more locations are expected to start vaccinating patients in the future.

The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination is a public-private partnership, between pharmacy companies and the federal government. Pharmacy companies receive vaccines directly from the federal government through the partnership program. Initially, the federal government asked states to limit distribution to one pharmacy chain partner. CVS Health is the initial pharmacy partner for the program in Virginia.

The appointment for the second vaccination will be made when the first vaccination appointment is scheduled. Those without online access can contact CVS Customer Service at (800) 746-7287. Walk-in vaccinations without an appointment will not be provided.

Those who were unable to book appointments, when CVS unexpectedly opened vaccine registration early, described the process as “really frustrating.”

With county-run vaccinations still constrained by limited supply from the state, the CVS vaccinations promise to provide a bit of a relief valve amid high demand in Arlington, which has the highest percentage of residents willing to be vaccinated in the country, at 92%.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and leaders in the District and Maryland, meanwhile, are pushing the federal government to vaccinate more D.C. area federal employees.

Vaccinations in Arlington are continuing apace, with an additional 651 doses reported to have been administered, for a cumulative total of 12,440 doses, in the latest figures from the Virginia Dept. of Health. The seven-day moving average is 888 doses per day in the county.

The figures for second doses, a measure of completed vaccinations, have been rising. At the current rate of second administered doses, Arlington’s entire adult population would be fully vaccinated in 533 days, a number that has continued to fall over the past several weeks.

County officials say that, as of last week, Arlington’s health department has administered 10,184 first doses of 11,425 received, as well as 1,037 second doses of 3,300 received.

An Arlington Public Health spokeswoman emphasized that those with vaccination appointments should not show up early, to help prevent the kind of lines seen during vaccination events this past weekend.

“We have individuals arriving an hour or more ahead of their appointment times,” the spokeswoman said.

File photo

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