It’s the question everyone who wants a vaccine is asking.
When can I walk into my neighborhood pharmacy and get one without all the headache? When is it ‘my turn’ in line?
The President has made a pretty lofty promise that every adult can get one by the end of May. And while they are now vaccinating more than 2-million people a day, much of that is happening at mass-vaccination sites. For those that go through local pharmacies like CVS or Walgreens, it can be a frustrating, headache inducing--almost game-- trying to get a vaccine appointment.
We’ve been told stories of folks in different groups having trouble navigating the different portals and rules, as they change state-by-state, but also county-by-county.
“There isn't enough vaccine, the way that we have for flu. Where flu there's enough vaccine for the entire country, right at the beginning. With the COVID-19 vaccine, there's still inventory that continues to build and every week it gets better and better, which is fantastic,”Rina Shah, PharmD, Group Vice President, Pharmacy Operations and Services at Walgreens said in this week’s episode.
Also different from the flu vaccine, the government owns all the shots.
“Normally we would at Walgreens purchase the vaccine and we would then be able to say, okay, you know, first come first serve. Or walk into your store and get a vaccine,” she explained.
Unlike in this situation where “the government bought the vaccine.”
But because they own it all… the federal government and the state authorities get to decide where it goes.
“We are one of many other pharmacy providers that have been selected in a subset of States to offer a vaccine. And every week we find out from the federal government and CDC, how much vaccine we're going to get,” Shah said.
She also addresses:
- The process and agreement for the rollout
- When they could be in all 50 states
- Whether or not they are also gaining a customer through their vaccination efforts.
- How they plan to vaccinate those not living near a Walgreens