Covid-19 vaccinations are expected to start in nursing homes this week, said Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed.
"We know that several states have already established and are going into long-term care facilities. They'll go in there this week," Perna said during a news conference on Monday.
"We're working through the state plans and the guidance that was put out was that long-term health care facilities slash nursing homes was one priority, but as well as the first-line medical personnel," he said. "Allocations for vaccines went out to the states, to the locations that they directed, and they are identifying in those populations who is first."
Perna added, "On Monday, a week from today, over 1,100 long-term health care facilities and nursing homes will also begin vaccinations."
US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said during the news conference that the date of Dec. 21 for vaccinations came up during discussions that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had in working with CVS and Walgreens.
"But there's no prohibition on distributing and vaccinating sooner," Azar said.
"In fact, we encourage it sooner," he added. "We expect to see vaccinations this week."