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Nursing homes see large-scale vaccination effort

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Pharmacy chains CVS Health and Walgreens launched a large-scale effort on Monday to help vaccinate residents and staff of Minnesota long-term care facilities for coronavirus.

CVS Health plans to vaccinate more than 63,000 residents and staff of nearly 600 skilled nursing and assisted living facilities across Minnesota during a 12-week effort that began in several states last week. The pharmacy will make three visits to each facility to ensure residents and staff receive both doses of the vaccine, spokeswoman Abby Major said.

Walgreens aims to vaccinate nearly 3 million residents and staff in a nationwide effort that includes Minnesota.

State health officials said long-term care facilities will be receiving the Moderna vaccine, which the state received in an initial shipment of 94,800 doses last week.

The Minnesota Department of Health on Monday reported 1,087 new cases of the coronavirus and 13 deaths — the lowest number of single-day deaths reported since mid-November when case growth began to dramatically increase across the state. The state’s totals now stand at 410,138 cases and 5,160 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Minnesota continued its decline over the past two weeks, going from nearly 4,000 on Dec. 13 to about 1,677 on Dec. 27. Hospitalizations dipped below 1,000 over the weekend with 675 patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 as of Sunday, including 203 in intensive care.

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