Reuters reports that the “U.S. government is partnering with regional pharmacy chains and independent community pharmacies to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines whenever they are made available,” according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Participating partners include Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc, CVS Health Corp, Walmart Inc, Kroger Co and Costco Wholesale Corp. The announcement notes that these vaccines supported by Operation Warp Speed will be administered at no cost to patients, and this will cover approximately 60% of pharmacies throughout the U.S. states, D.C, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The HHS announcement (view it here) highlights the role of pharmacists, techs, and interns: "In addition to traditional brick-and-mortar pharmacies, pharmacists, pharmacy interns, and pharmacy technicians also provide vaccinations in retail and grocery stores. Therefore, pharmacy vaccinators are crucial public health partners for increasing access and convenience of COVID-19 vaccines. Many pharmacists and the interns and technicians working under their supervision are trained to provide immunizations and are already important immunizers in their communities. Pharmacists are also a trusted health resource in their communities, and have played a vital role in the public health response to COVID-19 by counseling patients, expanding access to childhood vaccinations during the pandemic, and ordering and administering COVID-19 tests. By working with these partners, the federal government will rapidly expand access to COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccine will be administered at partners’ pharmacy locations at no cost to patients."