A number of retail pharmacy chains across the country will begin offering the coronavirus vaccine next week, as part of a new government effort to speed up the vaccine’s sluggish rollout.
Under the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination, an initial list of 21 national and independent pharmacy networks, spanning 40,000 retail and long-term care locations, will begin distributing shipments of the vaccine on February 8. They include ubiquitous drugstores such as CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens, as well as grocery giants Walmart, Kroger, and Albertsons.
Here’s what to know:
Where to go
Partners won’t be receiving vaccines at all of their locations, but will be participating on a state-by-state and store-by-store basis. To find out which pharmacies are participating in your state, see the program’s website here, operated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Then to find out if your local store is included, the website recommends calling that specific location. Some chains also keep directories of vaccine sites on their own websites, including CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Kroger, and Albertsons.
Who can go
Pharmacies will be administering the vaccine per state guidelines, which for most states, means healthcare workers, essential workers, and the elderly are eligible. (To see which states are currently vaccinating teachers, high-risk adults, and those aged 65+, the New York Times has a handy breakdown here.)
What to expect
According to the program’s website, pharmacies will be limited to around 1 million doses per week to divide across all of their participating locations nationwide, so it’s possible they might run out before you get there. However, the program hopes to ramp up supply and add sites as more vaccines are produced.
Full list of pharmacies
Check out the full list of pharmacies on the CDC website here.