Shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine are hitting major pharmacies across the nation as the government works to inoculate more Americans.
Earlier this month, the Biden administration announced it was moving to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines, freeing up more doses for states and beginning to distribute them to retail pharmacies.
— CVS Pharmacy (@cvspharmacy) February 9, 2021
The number of participating pharmacies and the allocation of vaccines are expected to accelerate as drug makers increase production. For now, CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and Sam’s Club are among neighborhood pharmacies that have already begun to administer vaccines to eligible recipients under the federal retail pharmacy program.
Currently, CVS is offering COVID-19 vaccinations to “eligible populations” at a limited number of locations in 11 states. CVS said the vaccines will be offered on an “appointment-only basis.” Appointments can be made online or through the CVS Pharmacy app. If eligible recipients don’t have access to either, they can contact customer service.
More than 1,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies will administer COVID-19 vaccinations through the U.S. Federal Retail Pharmacy Program in 22 states beginning Feb. 12, 2021. Vaccine quantities are limited. https://t.co/XQMiMAjO6Q pic.twitter.com/awTZYGULGr
— Walmart Inc. (@WalmartInc) February 9, 2021
Walgreens is also offering limited vaccinations in 15 states and jurisdictions to eligible recipients, including health care workers, people 65 and older and individuals with preexisting conditions.
The retail pharmacy has also set up an online scheduler to book appointments. For the time being, Walgreens will not provide vaccinations on a walk-in basis due to the fact that “vaccine inventory is still limited,” the company said.
Additionally, more than 1,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies in 22 states are receiving federal vaccine allocations.
Eligible recipients can schedule a vaccine appointment directly through the Walmart and Sam’s Club websites. However, a membership is not required to get a vaccination at Sam’s Club, according to Walmart.
If customers create a profile, they will also be given an alert for when it’s time to get their second vaccine dose.
Other major chains like Rite Aid, Costco and some supermarket pharmacies will also be receiving doses.
The pharmacy doses will be distributed to states by population, but a priority will be to get the vaccine to minority communities that have suffered a disproportionately high toll of disease and deaths from the virus, said Jeff Zients, the coordinator of President Biden’s COVID-19 task force.