Vaccines in Shelby County: pharmacies having logistical issues in care homes as deadline looms

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MEMPHIS — Shelby County Health Department officials say they’ve been distributing their weekly vaccine supply of about 8,900 doses to completion, but records show the Federal Pharmacy Partnership has not done the same with its supply, despite promises to finish distribution by Monday.

Tennessee is one of 49 states participating in the partnership, which contracts with CVS and Walgreens to distribute vaccines in long-term care homes.

According to state data, Tennessee has allocated 96,200 first doses to the pharmacies.

Neither CVS nor Walgreens officials would confirm how many doses they’ve each received, but they are reporting their progress to the state. Together, state data showed the pharmacies have only administered about 25 percent of their supply of first doses.

But nationwide, there have been widespread issues reported with logistics and execution. Health Department Director Dr. Alisa Haushalter said they’re happening in Shelby County as well.

“There have been some barriers to them getting into the nursing homes getting the consent forms signed and getting people vaccinated  but they have joined our vaccine subcommittee so they can elevate any challenges and we can work together to overcome those,” Haushalter said.

According to a spokesman for Gov. Bill Lee (R- TN), CVS and Walgreens have committed to having all long-term care facilities completed by Monday. But representatives for both CVS and Walgreens said they’re only planning to finish nursing homes by Monday and continue with other assisted living and long-term care homes after that.

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