March 11 (Reuters) - CVS Health is expanding the administration of COVID-19 vaccines to more states in the United States, the drugstore chain said on Thursday, taking its program to nearly 1,200 stores across 29 states and Puerto Rico.
The company, which has administered nearly 4.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses so far through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, said appointments for the newly added states will be available from March 13.
“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,” said Karen Lynch, chief executive officer of CVS.
Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nevada, New York City, Oklahoma, Philadelphia, Utah and Vermont were added over the past week where CVS Pharmacy will offer the vaccines through the U.S. government’s Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.
The company also said it was focusing on vulnerable communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic as well as teachers and school support staff.
From March 3 to March 10, educators, staff and child care workers accounted for more than 30% of COVID-19 vaccine appointments at CVS Pharmacy locations, CVS added.
CVS Pharmacy has completed second doses at all skilled nursing facilities, and third and final visits are 90 percent complete, according to the company’s data. (Reporting by Trisha Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)