Pharmacies Join Vaccine Effort

Twenty-one national drugstore chains and independent pharmacies will receive one million-doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from the federal government to accelerate distribution. 

The program will be implemented in stages, based on available vaccine supplies. 

Some drugstore chains, such as CVS and Walgreens, will begin taking online appointments for the vaccine, relieving the National Guard sites across some states. 

Availability will differ state-by-state.  For example, Walmart pharmacies in Alabama will receive shipments, while CVS and Rite Aid pharmacies are expected to receive the vaccine in California. 

The first shipment of the Moderna vaccine arrived at Hillcrest Pharmacy in Vernon, Texas, on February 11.  Distribution began that same day. 

Walgreens plans to give a limited number of vaccinations across 15 states as part of the federal program that started on February 12.  

The CDC is shipping doses to Walgreens in Chicago and other parts of Illinois, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Vermont, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. Walgreens is also administering the vaccine with local allotments in Arkansas, California, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina, and Texas. 

CVS’s rollout included 250,000 doses for eligible people in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.  CVS is also using state allocations to eligible populations in Indiana and Ohio.  

Over 1,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies in 22 states are getting vaccine allocations from the federal government.  States include Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. 

Walmart/Sam’s Club is also giving vaccinations using state allocations in D.C. and Puerto Rico.

“Ninety percent of the country lives within 10 miles of a Walmart. We’re at the heart of many rural and underserved communities, and we are committed to providing access to vaccines as groups become eligible,” Dr. Cheryl Pegus, Walmart’s executive vice president, Health & Wellness, said Tuesday in a news release.

Rite Aid is receiving doses at some of its pharmacies in five states, including California, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. 

Publix pharmacies will start to administer the vaccine to those eligible in 41 Florida counties and some areas in Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia. 

Costco offers the vaccine at some locations in New York, Oregon, Puerto Rico, and Washington. 

Kroger, the nation’s largest grocery chain, will have limited vaccines available for people in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. 

Individuals wanting to make an appointment for a vaccination should visit their local pharmacy’s website or call for an appointment.