The Biden administration will be delivering the COVID-19 vaccine directly to retail pharmacies across the country, the White House and federal health officials announced Tuesday.
The federal government’s partnership in this effort includes 21 national pharmacies and will eventually encompass 40,000 locations across the country.
“This will provide more sites for people to get vaccinated in their communities, and it’s an important component to delivering vaccines equitably,” said Jeffrey Zients, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, in a briefing with reporters. “This pharmacy program will expand access in neighborhoods across the country so you can make an appointment and get your shot conveniently and quickly.”
For now, however, the supply is limited, and vaccinations will initially only be available at a few thousand sites.
“I want to set expectations appropriately,” Zients said. “Due to the current supply constraints, this will be limited when it begins next week. In this first phase of the program, supply will only be at about 6,500 stores nationwide before expanding. And in the early phase, many pharmacies across the country will not have vaccine or may have very limited supply.”
The Biden administration says it wants reach 100 million vaccinations within President Biden’s first 100 days in office. The administration is also trying to increase the supply of the vaccine.
While some pharmacies have already been involved in distributing the vaccine, the Biden administration intends to supply pharmacies with the vaccine directly, rather than going through states.
Pharmacies will still only be vaccinating individuals who are eligible in their state. More information about vaccine eligibility and pharmacies is available here.
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