To Vaccinate Against Covid-19, U.S. Enlists Pharmacy Chains
By Jared S. Hopkins
More than a dozen retail pharmacy chains have agreed to partner
with the federal government to serve as Covid-19 vaccination sites
under a plan developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., CVS Health Corp., Walmart Inc.,
Kroger Co., Publix Super Markets Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp.
are among the companies that have agreed to participate, according
to the CDC plan issued Friday.
The pharmacies own more than 35,000 stores, the CDC said.
The information was contained in an updated "interim playbook"
the CDC prepared for states, territories and local governments
readying vaccination programs.
The playbook sketches out how Covid-19 shots would get to
hospitals, clinics and other vaccination sites, starting with
initial supplies for health-care workers and others at high risk of
Pharmacies would become involved during a second phase of
vaccine rollout. The pharmacies would order the Covid-19 vaccines
from the federal government, which would then supply them,
according to the CDC's plan.
The pharmacies' involvement would help expand and accelerate the
public's access to the shots as supplies increase, the CDC
"Partnerships with retail chain pharmacies and networks of
community pharmacists in the United States will increase the
general population's access to COVID-19 vaccine," the interim
A CVS spokesman said the company has been working with the U.S.
government on Covid-19 vaccine-distribution plans but declined to
provide specifics, while a Walgreens spokesman declined to
The other pharmacy chains didn't immediately respond to requests
The government would provide the vaccines to the pharmacies free
of charge. The government has said that vaccines will be free of
charge to patients, though a person might have to pay a fee for the
The companies must sign agreements with the federal government
detailing locations of their pharmacies and the capacity of each to
store vaccines at subzero temperatures. The pharmacies must report
daily to the CDC how many doses each store location orders and has
U.S. regulators haven't approved any Covid-19 vaccines but
several are in late-stage testing.
Government officials and planning documents had earlier
indicated that pharmacies would play some kind of role in vaccine
distribution but have provided few details. Last week, the
government said CVS and Walgreens would help with administering
vaccines at long-term care facilities.
Under the plan, states have a say in whether pharmacies
participate in the program. The states would have the authority to
prevent pharmacies within their borders from getting vaccines
directly from the federal government.
Pharmacies that aren't part of the program could still
participate with Covid-19 vaccination and should work with local
officials to do so, according to the CDC.
Write to Jared S. Hopkins at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 30, 2020 21:39 ET (01:39 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Historical Stock Chart
From Dec 2020 to Jan 2021
Historical Stock Chart
From Jan 2020 to Jan 2021