CHICAGO — Dr. Kevin Ban, chief medical officer for Walgreens, thinks the novel coronavirus vaccine will be available to the public by as early as March.
“We feel really comfortable that we’re positioned to be able to start in long-term care facilities and then scale that out across the country,” Ban said, making the announcement during a virtual program Thursday hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “We think we have eight to 12 weeks of work in front of us just to get through 1A (first responders) and 1B (nursing homes and staff). I know that Dr. Fauci has come on record to say some time in March, probably early April, that’s when we’re able to go to phase 2,which is the general population.”
Walgreens is scheduled to begin coronavirus vaccinations to 800 long-term care facilities across 12 states, beginning next week. Around 3 million residents and staff are part of those scheduled to be vaccinated. The company is hiring around 25,000 new employees and 9,000 pharmacists including other healthcare workers to administer the vaccine.