This Is What You'll Need to Get a COVID Vaccine at CVS, CEO Says
The process will differ slightly from getting your seasonal flu shot.
With a COVID vaccine almost ready for distribution, the next question on everyone's mind is, "How can I get my hands on it?" And though it may be a while before you can actually get the vaccine, officials are already breaking down how it will be distributed and what you'll need to do to get it. On Dec. 4, the CEO of CVS Health said that unlike the flu shot, to get the COVID vaccine at CVS you'll need to book an appointment. Read on for more on the process, and for the latest vaccine news, Dr. Fauci Just Apologized for Saying This About the COVID Vaccine.
In an interview with Today, CVS Health CEO Larry Merlo outlined how the general public will be able to get the vaccine at their pharmacies nationwide, once it has been approved for distribution.
"What we're doing is, we're going to use our digital interface to make it simple, easy, and seamless for our customers. They'll go to the CVS pharmacy app and they'll actually be able to schedule a COVID vaccine appointment," Merlo said.
Two vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, have been sent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are being reviewed for emergency use authorization. Both these vaccines require a second shot within 21 to 28 days after the initial vaccine, so people will have to make two trips for their vaccine. According to Merlo, CVS plans to use prompts on its app to help ensure that people get both the recommended shots.
"Think of it like booking a round-trip travel ticket," Merlo said. "We'll prompt them as they schedule their first vaccine to also schedule that booster, and much like we do today with refill reminders—so that you stay current to your medications—we'll be providing an awful lot of friendly nudges so that you don't miss that first appointment, and equally important, that second appointment."
While the app might be the easiest way to book and track appointments, Merlo said that those without access to it would also be able to use a 1-800 number to make appointments and receive more information through the phone.
Merlo pointed to CVS' long history of administering seasonal flu shots every year, and the more than 8 million coronavirus tests conducted in 2020 by the company, which he said has helped to prepare them to distribute millions of COVID vaccines. "We have our logistics plan, we have our staffing plan, so we are ready to go," Merlo said.
However, CVS won't be the only place you'll be able to get an approved coronavirus vaccine. On Nov. 12, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced partnerships with major chain pharmacies across the country to make a future vaccine rollout as accessible as possible. For more places you may be able to get the vaccine, read on, and for more on how the vaccine might affect you, Dr. Fauci Says You Should Expect These COVID Vaccine Side Effects.
Walgreens—along with Duane Reade, which Walgreens owns—will be another pharmacy that distributes the coronavirus vaccine, according to the HHS plan. In a press statement on Nov. 12, the company said they are "proud of the way our pharmacists and technicians remain steadfast in their dedication to meet customer needs throughout the pandemic, and remain committed to leveraging our expertise and nationwide footprint to help accelerate access to COVID vaccines, once available." And for more on the virus, Here's How Likely You Are to Catch COVID in the Next Month, Expert Says.
As another HHS partner, Rite Aid says they will most likely get access to distribute the coronavirus vaccine during Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the vaccine distribution plan—after it has been distributed in health care settings. On their website, the company says you can check back in to "learn when the COVID-19 vaccine will be available at Rite Aid." And for more on the future of the vaccine, This Is When We'll Know If the COVID Vaccine Is Safe for Kids, Fauci Says.
The Kroger Co. was also included in the HHS' partnership list, which naturally, includes Kroger store pharmacies. But this company also owns Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer, Frys, Ralphs, King Soopers, Smiths, City Market, Dillons, Marianos, Pick-n-Save, Copps, and Metro Market—so these could be accessible vaccine distributors as well. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Walmart, Inc. is among the partners listed for the COVID vaccine distribution. This includes both Walmart stores and Sam's Club stores nationwide. And for breaking Walmart news, Walmart Is Getting Rid of This Starting Today.