AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) -- As more becomes known about how a COVID-19 vaccine, when approved, will be distributed, Gov. Greg Abbott has announced Texas' participation in a program that will help get the critical immunization to some of the population's most vulnerable.
Abbott said Friday that the state will participate in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, a federal program to vaccinate residents and staff of long-term care facilities against COVID-19.
The program is free of charge to facilities.
"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 Abbott. "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."
How does the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program work?
Under the program, staff and Pfizer vaccines from partnering Walgreens and CVS locations are sent to the facilities to vaccinate residents and staff who volunteer to participate. So far, over 1,200 skilled nursing facilities and over 2,000 other long-term care facilities have signed up for the program, totaling more than 225,000 certified beds.
When will the first vaccines in the program be provided?
The vaccines will be provided to pharmacies the week of Dec. 21, 2020, and the program will begin Dec. 28, 2020.
What if a facility is not enrolled in the program?
Long-term care facilities not enrolled in the pharmacy program can still choose to do so by going to the Texas Department of State Health Services' (DSHS) Immunization Program to receive vaccines and vaccinate their own staff and residents or partner with a local pharmacy or other vaccine provider.
Keep in mind, you'll need to allow up to 14 days for processing of enrollment.
The video above features reporting from "Good Morning America" the benefits and side of effects of a COVID-19 vaccine.