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Pharmacies Will Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines: What You Need to Know

HealthDay News
by By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Feb 24th 2021

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Need a COVID-19 vaccine? Your neighborhood pharmacy may soon have one on hand.

Pharmacies across the United States are joining the coronavirus vaccination effort, as part of the Biden administration's push to reach herd immunity as quickly as possible in this country.

Federal officials plan to ship 2 million doses a week to more than 40,000 retail and long-term care pharmacies nationwide.

To make things easier for Americans, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up an online resource outlining which pharmacy chains are participating in your state.

"This program will expand access in neighborhoods across the country so that people can call and make an appointment and get their shot conveniently and quickly," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last week. "This is a critical, critical part of our plan."

For example, pharmacy giant Walgreens will start receiving a weekly allocation of more than 480,000 vaccine doses on Feb. 25, which it will distribute to pharmacies in 26 states and U.S. territories, the pharmacy chain announced in a news release.

Pharmacies located in department stores and supermarkets are also involved in the effort.

Kroger, the largest U.S. grocery chain, operates more than 2,200 pharmacies across the country and has set up an online COVID-19 vaccination scheduling tool that can manage more than 250,000 requests daily, the company said in a news release.

In all, the federal government will send doses of COVID-19 vaccines to 21 retail and long-term care pharmacy chains following a phased implementation. People will be asked to schedule online or phone their local pharmacy to make an appointment.

Supplies will be limited, so you should check back often if you aren't able to score an appointment at first.

In the meantime, here are key websites to help guide you:

Pharmacies

Department stores/warehouse clubs

  • More than 1,000 Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacies in 22 states will get vaccine allocations. You can find participating locations and schedule an appointment here.
  • Costco Wholesale warehouses in a handful of states will provide COVID vaccination. Here is information on locations and scheduling.
  • Meijer department stores have information and scheduling about COVID vaccination.

Supermarkets