There’s good news on the COVID-19 vaccine distribution front. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses pharmacies will get per week will double from 1 million to 2 million under a federal program.
Psaki added that the federal government is increasing its vaccine supply to 13.5 million doses per week.
The White House announcement comes on the heels of an effort by Congressman Dave Joyce of Ohio's District 14, and many of his colleagues on the Problem Solvers Caucus who are calling for an immediate vote on a standalone, $160 billion “Defeating COVID-19” vaccine distribution package. The package mirrors the vaccine proposal within the plan numerous Republican Senators presented to President Biden and is aligned with the “Direct COVID Pandemic Response” portion of the President’s American Rescue Plan.
Congressman Joyce also visited a local Discount Drug Mart in Concord to learn about their preparations to begin administering vaccines to residents of Northeast Ohio. Discount Drug Mart is among the 21 national pharmacy chains and independent networks receiving COVID-19 vaccine shipments from the federal government this week.
During his visit, Joyce received a walk-through of the pharmacy chain’s preparation to assist with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Ohio, including vaccine storage.
“Distributing COVID-19 vaccines and administering them to as many people as quickly as possible needs to be our main focus because each vaccination gets us a step closer to stopping the spread of this virus and restoring our way of life,” said Joyce.
Joyce continued, “Pharmacies like those at Discount Drug Marts are critical to our efforts to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines. These folks successfully manage flu vaccinations for millions of Americans every year and, having spent today learning about their storage and preparation procedures, it’s clear they are more than capable of ramping up our vaccination campaign. I will continue to do everything I can at the federal level to boost vaccine distribution and support the pharmacies and hospitals working to keep our communities healthy.”
"It's our biggest priority to be there for our communities during the pandemic when it comes to medications, supplies, and especially the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine," said Discount Drug Mart senior vice president of pharmacy Pete Ratycz. "We have been preparing for this opportunity for months and are proud on being selected a COVID-19 vaccination provider. It's a big responsibility and we are extremely confident in our ability to vaccinate age eligible Ohioans across all of our 76 locations. As an immunization destination, it's an area we have great experience."