The program will begin with about 1 million doses a week sent to thousands of retail pharmacies. The White House is stressing that equity of vaccine distribution is a key component of the effort.
The vaccines sent to pharmacies will be in addition to the millions of doses sent weekly to states, territories and tribes and that are sometimes administered at local pharmacies.
The program will begin on Feb. 11 on a limited basis, with vaccines sent to about 6,500 stores nationwide, Jeff Zients, the White House’s COVID-19 response coordinator, told reporters on Tuesday. He said that the effort would then scale up and that eventually up to 40,000 retail pharmacies, including Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid locations, would receive doses directly from the federal government.
Once the program starts, Zients said, those wishing to get vaccinated should follow their state’s current eligibility requirements and, if eligible, then check with their local pharmacy to see if there is vaccine availability.
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