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Furthermore, around 20 percent of residents declined the vaccine, according to Walgreens senior vice president of pharmacy and healthcare, Rick Gates. “We were seeing vaccine hesitancy — particularly among those that work in these facilities — that was higher than we expected,” he said. This data came as a surprise due to many Americans have seen potential vaccine dates pushed back due to logistical issues.

The federal government designated Walgreens and CVS as distributors of the vaccine to residents and staff at long-term care facilities throughout the country. Dr. Anthony Fauci has stated that 75 percent of the population will need to be vaccinated for herd immunity to start taking effect.

The declined vaccines were redistributed to next-in-line individuals on the priority list that included healthcare workers and other at-risk individuals. The sooner the vaccines can be distributed, the sooner we can see a return to normalcy.

Walgreens plans to offer vaccines in store in 15 states. These vaccines will again specifically target older Americans and at-risk individuals with medical conditions.

Gates cited “vaccine availability is the biggest hindrance.” He believes more vaccines will be available for the general public in late March or April.

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