The effort to immunize more Americans against thenow includes major retail pharmacy chains.
National drugstore chains CVS Health and Walgreens are among the more than 20 major retailers getting supplies of COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government this week. But getting a shot isn’t as easy as walking through the pharmacy door. Indeed, consumers are being discouraged from flocking to the stores, but rather get in line by making an appointment online or the phone.
The federal program will be implemented in stages, based on available vaccine supplies, with shipments arriving as soon as Thursday, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The federal government is providing 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine for the launch of the program,” a CDC spokesman said in an email to CBS MoneyWatch. “We are not able to confirm how many doses will be provided weekly to pharmacy partners during future weeks, but weekly allocations are anticipated to eventually increase as the vaccine supply increases.”
All told, the federal government is partnering with 21 national pharmacy chains and independent networks to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines across the U.S., according to the agency. The pharmacies taking part vary by state, with the CDC offering a state-by-state accounting of which retailers will be getting vaccine doses this week.
In Alabama, for example, Walmart pharmacies will get federal shipments of the vaccine, while in California, CVS and Rite Aid are expected to receive doses. Shipments of the vaccine are going to Hy-Vee and CPESN USA locations in Iowa, and to Albertsons, Costco and Health Mart pharmacies in Washington state. Look up your state here.
Walgreens and CVS Health
Walgreens plans to give a limited count of COVID-19 vaccinations across 15 states and jurisdictions as part of the federal program starting Friday, with healthcare workers, those 65 and older and people with pre-existing conditions among the potential candidates, depending on state guidelines. Consumers can use Walgreens’ appointment scheduler, although the system was reportedly experiencing a temporary outage on Tuesday.
The CDC will be shipping a limited number of doses to Walgreens in Chicago and other parts of Illinois, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York and New York City, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia. The company is also administering the vaccine with local allotments in parts of Arkansas, California, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas, it said.
Initially slated to begin on Thursday, CVS bumped the start of its in-pharmacy vaccination effort to Friday at a limited number of locations in 11 states, with the company’s scheduling system slated to open on CVS.com or the CVS Pharmacy app on Thursday. Those without online access can call (800) 746-4287.
“Because active stores will change regularly based on vaccine supply, CVS Health will not provide a full list of participating locations,” it said in an update on Monday.
CVS’ initial rollout will involve about 250,000 total doses to be given to eligible people in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode island, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Separately, CVS is using state allocations of the vaccine to offer in-store vaccinations to eligible populations in Indiana and Ohio.
“As more supply becomes available the company will expand to additional states while increasing the number of stores offering vaccinations,” said the chain, which operates nearly 10,000 pharmacies nationwide.
Walmart, Sam’s Club and Rite Aid
More than 1,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies in 22 states are getting federal vaccine allocations this week, with the shots slated to be given starting on Friday. That includes Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
The retail giant is also giving vaccinations using state allocation in 11 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. (You can see if a Walmart pharmacy near you is administering the COVID-19 vaccine here and confirm eligibility and schedule an appointment here.)
“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 federal doses at some of its pharmacies in five states and two municipal jurisdictions: California, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and its largest city, Philadelphia, and New York City, a spokesperson said in an email to CBS MoneyWatch. “These allocations will supplement existing and ongoing state and local allocations,” he added.
The Rite Aid chain, which operates 2,450 stores in 18 states, has limited information on registering for a vaccination here.
Publix, Costco and Kroger
Publix on Tuesday said it was opening appointments on Wednesday to administer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to eligible individuals at 593 Publix pharmacies in 41 Florida counties, using doses provided by the state and federal government. Publix pharmacies have also given the vaccine to people in Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia. The company’s online reservation system can be found here.
Costco is offering a limited number of COVID-19 vaccines, typically Moderna, at some locations in New York City, Oregon, Puerto Rico and Washington, the warehouse club said Friday in an update on its website.
Kroger pharmacies have a limited supply of the vaccine and are offering it now at some locations in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin, according to an update late Monday. Consumers can check appointment availability here.
Kroger — the nation’s largest grocery chain — in December said its health unit would be offering the vaccine at its 2,200 pharmacies and 220 clinics in 35 states.
Albertsons, Hy-Vee and Meijer
Albertsons Companies, which operates more than 1,700 pharmacies in its grocery stores in 34 states, is also receiving direct federal allocations of vaccine. Consumers can check out availability at the food and drug retailer’s numerous individual banners: ACME, Albertsons, Carrs, Haggen, Jewel-Osco, Pavilion, Randalls, Safeway, Shaw’s, Star Market, Tom Thumb, United Supermarkets and Vons.
At Albertsons-owned Lucky Pharmacy in Salt Lake City, Utah, the COVID-19 vaccine is billed as “coming soon.”
Hy-Vee runs 275 stores in eight Midwestern states and is offering federal doses of the vaccine at some of its in-store pharmacies in Iowa and South Dakota. Appointments can be made here.
Meijer plans to administer up to 25,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses starting the week of February 8 at clinics in its stores throughout Michigan. Residents of the state who are 65 and older can pre-register through the company’s website. The retailer operates 256 supercenters and grocery stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Michigan.
H-E-B, Ahold Delhaize and Southeastern Grocers
H-E-B, which runs more than 400 stores in Texas and Mexico, is offering the vaccine at some pharmacies in Texas. Check here for new appointment availability.
Ahold Delhaize companies also are offering the vaccine. That includes Stop & Shop, which runs 250 pharmacies in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. Hannaford is now scheduling appointments in two of the five states in which it operates, New York and Massachusetts, and its Giant Food brand is offering scheduling links to customers in Washington, D.C., Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. Go to https://giantfood.com/pages/covid-info for details.
Southeastern Grocers will be giving 8,100 free Moderna COVID-19 vaccine starting February 11 to eligible customers in some Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Más and Harveys Supermarket locations throughout Florida.
Acme Fresh Market, Big Y and Wegmans
Some of Topco Associates’ multiple brands are also getting federal shipments of vaccines. Acme Fresh Market is offering vaccination appointments at its pharmacies in Ohio, although as of Thursday afternoon they were fully booked. Check for updates here.
Giant Eagle, Food City and Price Chopper
Topco-brand Giant Eagle is in line to offer the vaccine at pharmacies in Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, while Brookshire Grocery has started an online waiting list in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. Food City is ready to offer the vaccine, but presently only has it at pharmacies in Virginia. Price Chopper/Market 32 is offering the vaccine at some pharmacies in Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania — click here to see if you’re eligible.
Health Mart — a chain of 5,000 independent pharmacies across the U.S. — is also in line for federal vaccine shipments. Pennsylvania’s Beaver Health Mart paused its online registration, saying it would resume taking requests once its supply is replenished. Missouri residents can try registering on the Parkland Health Mart Pharmacy site here.
Health Mart, CPESN USA and Good Neighbor
Wayne Drug, a Health Mart pharmacy in Oswego, New York, took to social media to keep customers posted.
Community Pharmacy Enhanced Service Network, or CPESN USA, is participating in the federal program and offering vaccines at locations in Florida and Iowa.
AmerisourceBergen last week said it was placing orders with the CDC on behalf of Good Neighbor Pharmacy and Elevate Provider Network — a cooperative of 4,500 independently owned pharmacies — in Kentucky, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas and Guam.
In California’s San Joaquin County, the Save Mart Company’s Lucky Pharmacy is offering appointments here.