WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — The push to immunize more Americans against the coronavirus now includes several major retail pharmacy chains.
Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and Kroger are among the major pharmacy and drugstore chains that have started giving COVID-19 vaccines received from the federal government.
The free vaccinations are part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, a state and federal partnership that targets getting immunizations in underserved areas.
However, many pharmacies may not have vaccines or only received a limited supply at first.
The initial rollout during the week of Feb. 12 included some 6,500 pharmacies around the country. The plan is to eventually expand the program to 40,000 pharmacies.
CVS and Walgreens drugstores will start doling out COVID-19 vaccinations in more states on Thursday. The drugstore chains say they have received additional vaccine doses from the federal government after they used up their initial allotment.
How to book COVID-19 vaccine appointment at CVS
CVS Health announced on Feb. 24 that it will start giving COVID-19 vaccines in six additional states: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The company said appointments for its latest allotment of around 570,000 doses will become available online Wednesday, with shots starting on Thursday, Feb. 25.
A limited number of CVS Pharmacy locations will now be offering vaccinations in these 17 states:
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
Vaccines at CVS stores will be offered on an appointment-only basis via CVS.com or through the CVS Pharmacy app. Those without online access can contact customer service: (800) 746-7287.
CVS has asked customers not to contact individual locations to setup an appointment.
How to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments at Kroger
Kroger announced Feb. 17 that it had launched a new vaccine scheduling tool to help customers book appointments online. The company said the online tool will be able to manage more than 250,000 requests daily.
Kroger, the nation's largest grocery chain, said so far it is administering vaccines at 1,300 of its 2,200 pharmacies. The company said if all its pharmacies begin to receive doses, it could administer an average of nearly 500,000 vaccinations per week.
As of Feb. 18, here are the states where select Kroger pharmacies are offering vaccinations:
- District of Columbia
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
How to book COVID-19 vaccine appointment at Walmart and Sam's Club
Starting Feb. 12, more than 1,000 Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacies in 22 states will start administering COVID-19 vaccinations as part of the federal vaccine allocations.
Eligible participants can schedule an appointment to get a vaccine on the Walmart and Sam's Club websites. A Sam's Club membership is not required to obtain a vaccination.
These are the 22 states where Walmart and Sam's Club will be administering vaccines from the federal government:
Before trying to schedule an appointment, you're asked to verify your eligibility through your state health department's website.
In addition to the 22 states administering federal allocations, Walmart and Sam’s Club is also administering vaccinations under state allocations in 11 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
How to book COVID-19 vaccine appointment at Walgreens
Starting Feb. 12, Walgreens began offering a limited number of vaccinations across 15 states and jurisdictions as part of the federal program.
Walgreens said late last week that it will receive an additional 480,000 doses to distribute at its stores. The company will expand into California, Oregon and Virginia, among other states.
The Deerfield, Illinois-based company said it went through nearly all of its initial shipment of 180,000 doses in three days.
Eligible individuals will be based on state and jurisdiction guidelines, and may include healthcare workers, people 65 and older, and individuals with pre-existing conditions.
Appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations can be made through the appointment scheduler at Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine, when vaccines becomes available. As of Feb. 2, the company said it would not be providing vaccinations on a walk-in basis.
Starting Feb. 25, the states and jurisdictions where Walgreens will be a federal partner includes:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
- New York City
- North Carolina
- Puerto Rico
- West Virginia