The federal government will begin shipping coronavirus vaccines directly to pharmacies across the country starting next week. The first shipment of one million vaccines will go to roughly 6,500 pharmacies across the country that serve “socially vulnerable” populations.
“Millions of Americans turn to their local pharmacies every day for their medicines, flu shots, and much more. And pharmacies are readily accessible in most communities, with most Americans living within five miles of a pharmacy,” White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said.
The Biden administration hopes to get vaccines to at least 40,000 pharmacies across the country but did not say when they expect to reach that goal.
“The initial phase of activating local pharmacies will get more shots in arms,” Zients said. “It will ensure that pharmacies have the infrastructure and the experience they need to scale up when vaccine supply increases in the months ahead.”
In addition to the one million doses going directly to pharmacies, the government will ship out 10.5 million doses to state governments.
According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, close to 50 million vaccines have been distributed, and more than 32 million doses have been administered. Nearly six million people are fully vaccinated after receiving both doses of the vaccines.