Residents of over 800 long term care facilities in Virginia will start receiving the COVID19 vaccination starting this week provided by CVS due to a federal partnership with the company.

According to Dr. Troy Brennan, executive vice president and chief medical officer at CVS Health, the company will send teams with full protective equipment and provide vaccinations to “all the people who work in the long term care facilities as well as all the people who consented to have the vaccinations who are patients there. Then, we’ll go back again and yet again to do the second dose and to make sure we capture anyone else who has come through the system up to that point.

Long term care facility residents are the second cohort to receive the vaccination after health care workers in Virginia hospital systems began receiving the first COVID-19 vaccines last week. First, frontline workers who were affiliated with a hospital system - Fairfax County Hospital systems, Inova Health System, and Reston Hospital center - received their first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination. Then, 5,000 doses of the Moderna vaccination was provided to health care workers who were not affiliated with a hospital system. Dr. Jennifer Primeggia, an infectious disease physician, told ABC7 News reporter Victoria Sanchez “The sentiment around the hospital was, ‘if there’s something I can do to end this pandemic, sign me up now.”

CVS CEO and Health President Larry J. Merlo stated that the rollout is the “culmination of months of internal planning and demonstrates how the private sector can use its expertise to help solve some of our most critical challenges.” He also stated his gratitude for the ‘herculean efforts of everyone involved, including our health care professionals who will be deployed throughout the country to bring peace of mind to long term care facility residents, staff, and their loved ones.”

The vaccination comes not a moment too soon, as the current data is showing a peak in cases and deaths. The Virginia Department of Health reports that Fairfax County has over forty-two thousand cases. According to , Fairfax County has reached an all-time high of daily new cases.

According to the governor’s plan for vaccination distribution, the next cohort to receive the vaccination will be “a lot of frontline workers - for example, teachers, food preparers, those types of things,” Governor Northam said in an NPR interview on November 29th. Phase three will include the general population. “Hopefully, by...early to midsummer [we will] have everyone in Virginia vaccinated.

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