All nursing home residents in the nation could get the COVID-19 vaccine by Christmas.
That's according to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who told CBS' "Face the Nation" that almost 100% of nursing homes in the U.S. are in the federal government's vaccine distribution program.
"It's a really remarkable, remarkable prospect for all of us who have loved ones in nursing homes that we may approach Christmas with that level of comfort that our loved ones have gotten some initial protection already," Azar said.
Though less than 1% of Americans live in long-term care facilities, their residents make up 39% of U.S. COVID-19 deaths. And a day before the FDA approval of the vaccine on Friday, the COVID Tracking Project reported the highest number of weekly new cases in long-term care facilities since it started collecting data in May.
Now those vaccines are in transport to facilities chosen by states.
Azar said the federal government has been working with CVS and Walgreens to help vaccinate all nursing home residents and staff by Christmas day.