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Texas to provide vaccines to long-term care facilities by end of month

The first vaccines will be sent to nursing home residents and staff the week of Dec. 21, Gov. Greg Abbott said, and vaccinations begin the following week.

AUSTIN, Texas — As frontline healthcare workers are set to become the first group of people to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination, next in line will be staff and residents of long-term care facilities.

Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday announced that Texas will be participating in the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. It is free of charge to facilities and will send the vaccines from partnering Walgreens and CVS locations to the facilities that choose to participate.

More than 1,200 nursing facilities and more than 2,000 other long-term care facilities in Texas have already signed up, for a total of more than 225,000 certified beds.

The first vaccines in the program will be provided to pharmacies during the week of Dec. 21, with the program officially beginning on Dec. 28.

"The Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program will help the State of Texas facilitate safe vaccinations among some of our most vulnerable populations, and it will help us protect residents and staff of long-term care facilities from COVID-19," said Gov. Abbott in a statement. "I thank the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for offering this program free of charge to these facilities and for working alongside us to keep our communities safe." 

Facilities that have not yet enrolled can do so with the Texas Department of State Health Services' Immunization Program to receive the vaccines and can vaccinate their own staff and residents or partner with a local pharmacy or another provider.

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