MADISON —​ Gov. Tony Evers announced that on-site vaccinations at skilled nursing facilities began this week in Wisconsin as part of the Pharmacy Partnership Program for Long-Term Care.

The private-public partnership pairs eligible long-term care facilities with Walgreens or CVS to provide free, on-site COVID-19 vaccination for residents and staff.

The pharmacies will provide complete vaccine management for the facilities including storage and handling, scheduling, administration, and meeting reporting requirements.

“This partnership will help reduce the strain on our long-term care facilities and help deliver the vaccine to those in higher-risk populations,” said Gov. Evers. “Protecting our most vulnerable Wisconsinites is a top priority and will be a critical step for the success of Wisconsin’s COVID-19 Vaccine Program.”

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) chose to use the Moderna vaccine for this program and has allocated 56,800 doses to the federal pharmacy partners to initiate vaccinating long-term care residents and staff in phase 1a.

“As we have seen throughout this pandemic, nursing home residents are susceptible to severe outcomes from COVID-19,” said Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “That is why we coordinated with our federal partners and proactively reserved enough vaccine doses to advance this important program to protect some of our most vulnerable residents.”

DHS expects the program to continue at participating facilit­ies for approximately two months. After this initial phase of vaccinations, facilities may continue working with the federal pharmacy partner they were matched with or shift to another pharmacy provider that is enrolled with the state to provide COVID-19 vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccination process continues to change rapidly and DHS will continue to provide updates on vaccine information as they beco­me available. For up-to-date information, please visit the DHS COVID-19 Vaccine webpage.