Today U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) sent a letter to the CEOs of CVS and Walgreens requesting a briefing regarding the status of their administration of the COVID-19 vaccines in Missouri. Senator Hawley expressed concerns about reports about the slow pace of inoculations and the possibility that the companies may be holding an excess supply of vaccine doses.

Senator Hawley wrote, “I understand that a mass mobilization effort of this magnitude poses several challenges, some of which might be outside of your company’s control. However, it is critical that obstacles are communicated to the public, as well as to government officials who might be positioned to help work towards resolutions. A public-private partnership is exactly that—a partnership. In the spirit of this partnership, I request a briefing, in writing, from you and your staff regarding the administration of COVID-19 vaccines in Missouri. It is my hope that this briefing will advance our shared objective of vaccinating my state’s high-risk populations as quickly as possible.”

Read Senator Hawley’s letter to CVS here and his letter to Walgreens here.


January 29, 2021

Mr. Larry J. Merlo
President and Chief Executive Officer
CVS Health
One CVS Drive
Woonsocket, Rhode Island 02895

Dear Mr. Merlo,

I am writing regarding your company’s role in administering COVID-19 vaccines to the people of Missouri.

As a primary participant in the federal government’s Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, your company has agreed to vaccinate residents and employees in Missouri’s long-term care facilities. The objective of this public-private partnership was to leverage the scale and logistical know-how of your company to safely and efficiently inoculate the state’s highest-risk populations. Unfortunately, reports out of Missouri suggest that the pace of inoculations has fallen short of expectations, and that your company might be holding an excess supply of vaccine doses. On January 26, 2021, the Missouri government indicated that the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program had only administered 17 percent of the 332,000 doses that the state had allocated to it. [1] This slow pace does not appear to be a problem unique to Missouri. [2]

I understand that a mass mobilization effort of this magnitude poses several challenges, some of which might be outside of your company’s control. However, it is critical that obstacles are communicated to the public, as well as to government officials who might be positioned to help work towards resolutions. A public-private partnership is exactly that—a partnership. In the spirit of this partnership, I request a briefing, in writing, from you and your staff regarding the administration of COVID-19 vaccines in Missouri. It is my hope that this briefing will advance our shared objective of vaccinating my state’s high-risk populations as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and your work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sincerely,
Josh Hawley
United States Senator


Mr. Stefano Pessina
Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.
200 Wilmont Road
Deerfield, Illinois 60015

Dear Mr. Pessina,

I am writing regarding your company’s role in administering COVID-19 vaccines to the people of Missouri.

As a primary participant in the federal government’s Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, your company has agreed to vaccinate residents and employees in Missouri’s long-term care facilities. The objective of this public-private partnership was to leverage the scale and logistical know-how of your company to safely and efficiently inoculate the state’s highest-risk populations. Unfortunately, reports out of Missouri suggest that the pace of inoculations has fallen short of expectations, and that your company might be holding an excess supply of vaccine doses. On January 26, 2021, the Missouri government indicated that the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program had only administered 17 percent of the 332,000 doses that the state had allocated to it. [1] This slow pace does not appear to be a problem unique to Missouri. [2]

I understand that a mass mobilization effort of this magnitude poses several challenges, some of which might be outside of your company’s control. However, it is critical that obstacles are communicated to the public, as well as to government officials who might be positioned to help work towards resolutions. A public-private partnership is exactly that—a partnership. In the spirit of this partnership, I request a briefing, in writing, from you and your staff regarding the administration of COVID-19 vaccines in Missouri. It is my hope that this briefing will advance our shared objective of vaccinating my state’s high-risk populations as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and your work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sincerely,

Josh Hawley
United States Senator

Issues