HHS partners with 19 pharmacy networks for COVID-19 vaccine allocation

HHS rolled out a federal vaccine allocation program, partnering with chain and community pharmacy networks that cover 60 percent of the nation's pharmacies, the department said Nov. 12.

The program, meant to expand Americans' access to a COVID-19 vaccine once one emerges, will supply pharmacies with vaccines, which they will administer to patients free of charge.

"We are leveraging the existing private sector infrastructure to get safe and effective vaccines supported by Operation Warp Speed into communities and into arms as quickly as possible with no out-of-pocket costs," HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a news release. "The vast majority of Americans live within five miles of a pharmacy, and our new agreement with pharmacy partners across America is a critical step toward making sure all Americans have access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines when they are available."

Nineteen pharmacy chains had joined the program as of Nov. 6, including CVS, Walgreens, Costco, Walmart, Rite Aid, Albertsons and Kroger. HHS said pharmacies not participating in the program "are encouraged to be part of the solution" and should work with their local health department to become COVID-19 vaccine providers.


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