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More COVID vaccines will soon be going to pharmacies nationwide

Starting next week, the federal government will begin distributing 1 million doses per week to about 6,500 pharmacies. Here's which pharmacies are in the program.

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration will begin providing COVID-19 vaccines to U.S. pharmacies, part of its plan to ramp up vaccinations as new and potentially more serious virus strains are starting to appear, the White House said Tuesday.

Coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients said starting next week some 6,500 pharmacies around the country will receive a total of 1 million doses of vaccine. The number of participating pharmacies, and the allocation of vaccines, are expected to accelerate as drugmakers increase production.

Drug stores have become a mainstay for flu shots and shingles vaccines, and the industry is capable of vaccinating tens of millions of people monthly. “This will provide more sites for people to get vaccinated in their communities,” said Zients.

The partnership with drug stores was originally announced by the Trump administration last November. At that time, no coronavirus vaccines had been approved. The pharmacy program will be administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and includes major outlets such as CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Rite Aid and Costco, as well as supermarket pharmacies 

Zients also announced an increase in doses the government is shipping to states, territories and some major metropolitan areas. Those will now total 10.5 million doses across all jurisdictions, up from 10 million announced last week.

The 1 million doses being shipped to pharmacies will be on top of the allocations to states. Zients said a priority will be to get the vaccine to minority communities that have suffered a disproportionately high toll of disease and deaths from the virus.

When fully deployed, the pharmacy partnership will enlist about 40,000 drug stores nationwide, Zients said, or roughly six times as many locations as are participating in the initial launch. Some local jurisdictions have started to offer vaccination at drug stores, but in most places that's not the case. Signs on pharmacy front doors say no vaccine is yet available.

Which pharmacies will be receiving COVID-19 vaccines? 

According to the Biden administration, there are 21 national pharmacy partners and networks of independent pharmacies who will be receiving coronavirus doses through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. 

However, it's important to note that because vaccine doses are still limited not all of these pharmacies will be active in every state during this initial phase. 

The following list includes links to each company's website where you can find more information on whether they'll be offering COVID-19 vaccines in your local area and who is eligible. 

Chain Pharmacies in Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination

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