Walgreens ramps up its vaccination plans in the U.S.

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The company is also rolling out a free transportation program to vaccination sites in selected cities

After successfully delivering 3 million COVID-19 vaccinations across long-term care facilities and at-risk population centers, Walgreen’s is ready to increase its inoculation program by nearly a half-million each week.

The company began in-store vaccinations in 17 states and jurisdictions as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program on February 12. Beginning February 25, Walgreens tells ConsumerAffairs that it will receive a weekly allocation of more than 480,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses and support administration in the following U.S. states and territories:

  • Arizona

  • Arkansas 

  • Connecticut

  • Delaware

  • Georgia 

  • Illinois

  • Kentucky

  • Maine 

  • Maryland

  • Nevada 

  • New Hampshire

  • New Mexico

  • New York

  • North Carolina

  • Ohio 

  • Oregon 

  • Puerto Rico

  • U.S. Virgin Islands

  • Utah 

  • Vermont

  • Virginia 

  • West Virginia

  • Wisconsin

  • Wyoming

Signing up

Walgreens said it will also continue to assist states with the administration of their COVID-19 vaccine allocations through in-store vaccinations or off-site clinics. The company noted that supply remains limited, but individuals eligible to receive the vaccine under the federal and state programs can schedule appointments by visiting Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine or through their state department of health website.

The steps to sign up are fairly straightforward:

  1. Sign in to your Walgreens.com pharmacy account. If you don’t have an account, setting one up takes no more than a minute or so. 

  2. Complete a short eligibility screening.

  3. If you’re eligible, Walgreen’s says it will look for available appointments in your area for your COVID-19 vaccination appointment.

Providing rides and free tests

Hosting off-site COVID-19 vaccination clinics is an important element in Walgreens vaccination plan. To date, it’s hosted vaccination events and worked with civic leaders, advocacy groups, and faith-based organizations to offer educational programs in more than 100 underserved U.S. communities.

One helpful part of that initiative is providing free rides in socially vulnerable communities where transportation may be a barrier to getting a COVID-19 vaccine. In Chicago, Walgreens worked with Uber and the Chicago Urban League to get people to vaccination sites and says it will scale that initiative nationally as vaccine inventories expand.

Walgreens announced that the urban areas that are up next in that effort will be Atlanta, El Paso, and Houston.

The company said that it’s also expanding access to COVID-19 testing to more than 5,000 of its pharmacy locations nationwide by April 1. According to its website, the company says that testing is “no cost” for ages 3+ as part of its partnership with the PWNHealth provider network. 

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