COVID-19

Pharmacies boosting Michigan’s vaccination efforts

Pharmacies account for the largest share of first-dose vaccinations in the past few weeks.

During the month of March, 30% of the first doses of vaccines given out in Michigan have been administered by private, for-profit pharmacies. That’s more than any other vaccine provider in the state.

That’s also an increase in the number they were providing last month and is a sign of the important role pharmacies will play in the state’s vaccination efforts going forward.

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Pharmacy chains like Walgreens, CVS, and Rite-Aid have only just begun providing COVID vaccinations to the general public. Previously, they had been employed to perform inoculations for nursing homes and other congregate living facilities.

Vaccinations through pharmacies work a little differently from those performed by hospitals, health departments, and medical centers. For starters, the vaccine supplies they administer come directly from the federal government through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination. That’s different from other vaccination programs, which receive their supplies from the state.

Because of that, pharmacies don’t report their vaccination numbers to the state health department. Instead they report through the Michigan Care Improvement Registry, which manages information tracking differently.

Still, pharmacies provide an important extra level of capacity to a system that is affected by backlogs and limited supplies.

You can read more on MLive.

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