The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention will divert 500 COVID-19 vaccine doses from CVS to an independent pharmacy next week, taking the step with vaccines in short supply and as it attempts to speed up the pace of immunizations in nursing homes.
Pharmacies have been immunizing nursing home residents and staff, but Maine CDC officials have said they have been disappointed by the slow rollout of vaccines to nursing homes, a program that is operating under a contract that CVS and Walgreens have with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A CVS spokesman said on Wednesday that the shift of the doses has nothing to do with the pace of its vaccinations, but is being done because it is “respecting” the wishes of Shalom House to use an independent pharmacy. The Portland nonprofit operates a residential program for the mentally ill.
Last week, the Maine CDC transferred 1,950 doses from Walgreens to Central Maine Medical Center and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, both in Lewiston. It’s not clear whom the hospitals vaccinated with those doses. This week, the health agency is moving 975 doses from Walgreens to an independent pharmacy, which will use them to inoculate nursing home residents and staff.
An additional 500 doses will be moved from CVS to an independent pharmacy next week, Maine CDC spokesman Robert Long said on Wednesday. Continue Reading