The government partnered with 11 grocery store chains across the country in November 2020 in order to bring a free COVID-19 vaccine to everyone in America. Since then, two vaccines have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and now, several supermarkets and pharmacies in your neighborhood are already administering it to the first round of patients.
We've rounded up these places that could have it ready to distribute to customers like you as soon as possible.
Kroger Health started administering the Pfizer vaccine to health care workers in Anchorage and Juneau, Alaska, in the last few days of Dec. 2020, according to a statement. "Kroger Health is also engaged in vaccination efforts for prioritized populations in several other geographies," the company says. They currently have 2,200 pharmacies and 220 clinics in 35 states.
Walmart and Sam's Club locations in New Mexico started administering the Moderna vaccine to health care workers in mid to late December 2020, the chain's chief medical officer Dr. Tom Van Gilder, says. Rural areas were given priority, but pharmacists are also included in the first round.
Like Kroger, Walmart says they are in talks with other state officials about making the vaccine available there, not only to people considered to be in Priority 1A, but the essential workers, first responders, those with high-risk medical conditions, and older Americans in Priority 1B and Priority 1C. Walmart has over 5,000 pharmacies in every state.
As we wait for more information to become available, This COVID-19 Precaution Is Temporarily Closing Some Walmart Stores.
This chain headquartered in Boise, Idaho gave the first doses of the vaccine to health care workers as part of Phase 1A in a clinic in Alaska, it said in a Dec. 23 statement. However, "The company has received doses in eight other states for this critical first phase and it anticipates more supply is on the way," which can be distributed at one of the 1,700 pharmacies, grocery stores, or in a separate community location. Albertsons is currently hiring 800 additional pharmacy staff to help with demand.
Other stores like Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Tom Thumb, and others are all part of the Albertsons brand.
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H-E-B is already requesting more of the Moderna vaccine from the state of Texas after distributing or scheduling to distribute all of the first allotment, the company said on Jan. 3.
"We are awaiting another allocation of vaccine from the state of Texas so we can continue to vaccinate healthcare providers as well as begin offering vaccine to those in Phase 1B," according to a statement on the company's website. "Once we have supply, we will activate a scheduler tool on our website so people can schedule an appointment."
The first recipients of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from Hy-Vee were around 100 residents and staff at a long-term care facility in Fairmont, Minnesota, the company announced in late December. Shortly after, several dozen health care workers in Dallas County, Iowa, were next, and the chain continues to administer the vaccine to others in the area and in Polk County.
The chain anticipates distributing the vaccine at over 270 pharmacy locations in eight states that include Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
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Twenty-two Publix store pharmacies in three Florida counties are set to distribute 15,000 doses of the free Moderna vaccine starting Jan. 7, Governor Ron DeSantis announced at a press conference. The chain expects to administer it to 120 people a day in the counties of Citrus, Hernando, and Marion.
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