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Major pharmacies preparing to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine

Once a vaccine is approved, here’s where you can get it

Photo (c) Prostock-Studio - Getty Images
When a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is approved, you’ll probably be able to get it at your neighborhood supermarket or drugstore.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has begun working with Kroger, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and other national chains to become vaccination distribution centers. These firms have begun training staff and securing large refrigeration units to become vaccination centers.

Moderna said Monday that it would ask U.S. and European regulators to approve its vaccine, which was shown to be 94 percent effective in clinical trials. Pfizer has already taken that step for its vaccine.

Pharmacies increasingly have become basic health service providers, administering the annual flu vaccine. Some, like CVS Health, have established small clinics within their stores.

Dr. Troyen Brennan, chief health officer at CVS Health, believes the pharmacy will administer the COVID-19 vaccine to as many as 20 million people in the U.S.

“With approximately 70 percent of the U.S. population living within three miles of a CVS Pharmacy, we’ll be easy to reach when a vaccine is authorized by the FDA and becomes available in retail settings,” Brennan said. “Our pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and pharmacy technicians have been an invaluable community resource since the pandemic began and are ready to play a critical role in the vaccination effort.”

Albertsons and its subsidiaries

Albertsons supermarkets will also be a vaccine distribution point. The company operates more than 1,700 pharmacy locations nationwide, including those in Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, and Carrs stores.

“Throughout this pandemic, our pharmacy teams have been on the front lines, offering care and health solutions for our communities,” said Omer Gajial, senior vice president of Albertsons Companies Pharmacy and Health. “When a vaccine is ready, our pharmacists will play a critical role in administering this important public health service.”

No matter where you get the vaccine, there should be no cost to the consumer. The U.S. government will pay the cost for uninsured people.

There will be some paperwork to complete before receiving the shot. Albertsons says consumers will find contactless consent forms for the vaccine in the company’s pharmacy apps. By completing the necessary paperwork electronically ahead of time, patients can reduce the amount of time spent in the pharmacy. 

Here’s the list

Here’s the list of participating retailers, provided by HHS. More locations may be added when one or more vaccines are approved.

  • Albertsons Companies, Inc. (incl., Osco, Jewel-Osco, Albertsons, Albertsons Market, Safeway, Tom Thumb, Star Market, Shaws, Haggen, Acme, Randalls, Carrs, Market Street, United, Vons, Pavilions, Amigos, Lucky’s, Pak n Save, Sav-On)

  • Costco Wholesale Corp.


  • CVS Pharmacy, Inc. (incl. Long’s)

  • Good Neighbor Pharmacy and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation’s PSAO, Elevate Provider

  • Health Mart Systems, Inc.

  • H-E-B, LP

  • Hy-Vee, Inc.

  • LeaderNET and Medicine Shoppe, Cardinal Health’s PSAOs

  • Managed Health Care Associates (MHA)

  • Meijer Inc.

  • Publix Super Markets, Inc.

  • Retail Business Services, LLC (incl., Food Lion, Giant Food, The Giant Company, Hannaford Bros Co, Stop & Shop)

  • Rite Aid Corp.

  • The Kroger Co. (incl., Kroger, Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer, Frys, Ralphs, King Soopers, Smiths, City Market, Dillons, Marianos, Pick-n-Save, Copps, Metro Market)

  • Topco Associates, LLC (incl. Big-Y Pharmacy and Wellness Center, Brookshire’s Pharmacy, Super One Pharmacy, FRESH by Brookshire’s Pharmacy, Coborn’s Pharmacy, Cash Wise Pharmacy, MarketPlace Pharmacy, Hartig Drug Company, King Kullen, Food City Pharmacy, Ingles Pharmacy, Raley’s, Bel Air, Nob Hill Pharmacies, Save Mart Pharmacies, Lucky Pharmacies, SpartanNash, Price Chopper, Market 32, Tops Friendly Markets, ShopRite, Wegmans, Weis Markets, Acme Fresh Markets)

  • Walgreens (incl. Duane Reade)

  • Walmart, Inc. (incl. Sam’s Club)

  • Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. (incl. Winn-Dixie, Harveys, Fresco Y Mas)

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