LAKE MARY, Fla. - The COVID-19 vaccine will be available for high-risk groups this month, but pharmacies are giving us a glimpse of what it will look like for the general public too.
Two big pharmacies, CVS and Walgreens are giving us a glimpse of what it will look like when the COVID-19 vaccine is available for everyone. Walgreens released new details on its website about how the pharmacy will distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. Walgreens says all 9,000 of its stores will have the vaccine for the general public sometime in 2021. The vaccine will be free to everyone.
CVS Health also rolled out its early guidelines for its vaccine distribution. The pharmacy said it's ready to administer 20-25 million COVID-19 vaccines a month. CVS says it will have easy online vaccination scheduling by making appointments on its website or the CVS Pharmacy app. People will need to take two doses of Moderna and Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at least three weeks apart so you'll have to schedule an appointment for both at the same time to make sure you come back within the correct time period.
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The partnership with large companies is meant to make the vaccine more available, especially in remote and underserved areas. Publix, Walmart, Winn Dixie, Rite Aid, and Costco have also signed on to administer the vaccine.
Smaller local pharmacies are also gearing up to distribute the vaccine. Greenwood Pharmacy in Lake Mary is waiting for its distributor to send him the COVID-19 vaccine. Once the pharmacy gets it, it'll help vaccinate the high priority people like nursing homes and health care workers until he's able to provide it to the general public later on.
"It will be a busy, crazy time. We will vaccinate as many people as we can," said Owner Andy Kimmel.
Kimmel is planning on taking call-in appointments, will add extra staff to handle the rush and he even bought the special freezer needed to store the vaccine. Pharmacists will call patients to remind them when it's time to get the second dose of the vaccine.
"I didn’t want to take any chance to have everything that’s necessary but the storage. Without storage the vaccine it’s usable," said Kimmel. "I bought it a few weeks ago in anticipation that it might not be available when everything comes out so so I wanted everything done and set for when everything is available."