- The US government authorised thousands of pharmacies to distribute coronavirus vaccines.
- The program is set to begin on February 11 with 1 million total doses per week.
- Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens are among the chains set to vaccinate people at no charge.
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Coronavirus vaccines will soon be available at US pharmacies with the rollout of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination, the White House announced on Tuesday.
The program means that over 40,000 US pharmacies are set to receive vaccine doses to give to eligible people at no charge beginning on February 11, with 1 million doses per week set to go to 6,500 locations to start, the White House said.
The White House said the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention worked with states to decide the first pharmacies to partner with based on how well they would be able to reach at-risk populations. States will continue to receive doses to distribute.
The CDC recommended that people waiting for the vaccine check their local pharmacy’s website to see whether it’s available and who qualifies.
Walmart has told customers to reserve an appointment through a scheduling tool on its website that also includes a reminder for the second dose. CVS has asked customers to make appointments through the CVS app or website, as have most other providers authorised by the CDC.
The vaccines available at pharmacies will be limited at first, with allocations determined by the federal government. Each state determines the distribution of its vaccines and eligibility for them.
These are the pharmacy chains partnering with the federal government to distribute vaccines, according to the White House:
- Walgreens (including Duane Reade)
- CVS Pharmacy (including Long’s)
- Walmart (including Sam’s Club)
- Rite Aid
- Kroger (including Kroger, Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Ralphs, King Soopers, Smiths, City Market, Dillons, Mariano’s, Pick-n-Save, Copps, Metro Market)
- Albertsons (including Osco, Jewel-Osco, Albertsons, Albertsons Market, Safeway, Tom Thumb, Star Market, Shaw’s, Haggen, Acme, Randalls, Carrs, Market Street, United, Vons, Pavilions, Amigos, Lucky’s, Pak n Save, Sav-On)
- Retail Business Services (including Food Lion, Giant Food, The Giant Company, Hannaford Bros Co, Stop & Shop)
- Winn-Dixie (including Winn-Dixie, Harveys, Fresco Y Mas)
Other networks of independent pharmacies will also participate, the White House said.