Beginning Monday, CVS Health will administer Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at about 2,000 long-term care facilities in Massachusetts.
The move comes after the Rhode Island-based company began administering doses of the Pfizer vaccine in Connecticut, New Hampshire and other states last week as part of a larger effort to vaccinate at about 40,000 nursing homes and assisted living facilities nationwide.
An effort to administer the coronavirus vaccine to about 7,500 residents and 10,000 workers at nursing homes across Rhode Island also starts Monday.
CVS will start administering vaccines in 36 states Monday - including Massachusetts - and the District of Columbia. Puerto Rico will begin on Jan. 4.
Over the next three months, CVS Pharmacy teams expect to make a total of three visits to each long-term care facility to give residents and staff their initial shot and booster shot. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses.
CVS hopes to vaccinate all residents and staff three to four weeks after the first visit. Both CVS and Walgreens were tapped by the federal government to administer the vaccine.
The company plans to provide vaccines to the general public in their 10,000 CVS Pharmacy locations across the country in 2021.
Meanwhile, in Rhode Island, it may take several weeks before everyone eligible receives their first dose of the vaccine, authorities said.
The effort will start in long-term care facilities in some of the state's hardest-hit communities.
More than half the facilities in Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls will get the vaccine in the first week, state Health Department spokesman Joseph Wendelken said Sunday. About 1,500 first doses will be administered Monday, he said.
About 70% of Rhode Island's more than 1,700 coronavirus deaths were in residents of nursing homes or assisted living centers, according to state statistics.
"I'm glad we can begin protecting staff and residents. The sooner we can start, the more lives we will save," said Scott Fraser, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Healthcare Association, which represents 64 nursing homes.
Rhode Island hospital workers started getting the vaccine before Christmas.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.