Feb 03, 2021
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About this Deal
The White House announced on Tuesday that it will deliver COVID vaccines directly to retail pharmacies nationwide from February 11. The pandemic continues to rage in the U.S., with more than 26.4 million cases recorded.
The plan, part of President Joe Biden's strategy to combat the outbreak, is intended to make it easier for Americans to get a vaccine in their communities, at local stores including Walgreens, Walmart and CVS.
Officials have conceded, however, that vaccine supply constraints mean there will be limited doses available when the scheme begins.
White House COVID coordinator Jeff Zients said in a briefing on Tuesday that vaccines would be supplied to roughly 6,500 stores across the country, before the project is expanded. As supply increases, up to 40,000 pharmacies nationwide could get deliveries.
Zients said: "Millions of Americans turn to their local pharmacies every day for their medicines, flu shots and much more, and pharmacies are readily accessible in most communities with most Americans living within five miles of a pharmacy."
The White House was keen to stress that many pharmacies won't have vaccines—or will have an extremely limited supply—during the first stage of the rollout plan.
Residents are advised to check availability on their local pharmacy's website and ensure they meet their state's eligibility requirements for vaccination.
Sites are selected based on "their ability to reach some of the populations most at risk for severe illness," including socially vulnerable communities, Zients said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) worked with states to select the initial pharmacy partners and will "monitor the data on an ongoing basis," he said.
The White House released a list of the participating retail pharmacies on Tuesday, stressing again that not all will initially have doses available. They are:
• Walgreens (including Duane Reade)
• CVS Pharmacy (including Longs)
• Walmart (including Sam's Club)
• Rite Aid Corp.
• Kroger (including Kroger, Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer, Fry's, Ralphs, King Soopers, Smith's, City Market, Dillons, Mariano's, Pick-n-Save, Copps, Metro Market)
• Publix Super Markets
• Albertsons Companies (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 Stores (including Winn-Dixie, Harveys, Fresco Y Mas)
Zients said the first phase of the rollout would "get more shots in arms" and ensure pharmacies have the capability to scale up when supply increases.
"This is a critical step to provide the public with convenient, trusted places to get vaccinated in their communities," he said.
"Importantly, pharmacies are just one part of our overall effort, which also includes mass vaccination sites, mobile clinics, community health centers and other providers that Americans count on each and every day."
CDC Federal Retail Pharmacy Program here