As the United States accelerates its COVID-19 vaccination effort, pharmacies across the country are opening their doors to the public. This means that an additional 22 million people will now have easy access to the vaccine.
The decision was made by the Biden administration, which has pushed to speed up the pace of vaccinations in recent weeks. The move is intended to broaden access to vaccines, especially in underserved communities and rural areas where transportation can be a challenge.
“The more people we can get vaccinated, the faster we can reduce infections, hospitalizations, and deaths, and eventually get back to a more normal life,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Pharmacies have been playing a significant role in distributing COVID-19 vaccines since they became available to healthcare workers and seniors earlier this year. Now, with more vaccine doses becoming available, the administration has authorized additional providers to distribute vaccines, including dentists, midwives, and paramedics.
Many pharmacies have already begun taking appointments for vaccinations, and some have even implemented walk-in clinics. CVS, one of the largest pharmacy chains in the United States, announced that it will offer same-day appointments as well as walk-in vaccinations in their stores. Walgreens has also announced that it will offer same-day appointments and walk-ins at its locations.
The move to make COVID-19 vaccines available in pharmacies nationwide has been widely praised as a significant step forward in the fight against the pandemic. This is especially true for those living in rural areas and underserved communities who have had difficulty accessing vaccines.
If you are looking to get vaccinated, check with your local pharmacy to see about scheduling an appointment or participating in a walk-in clinic. As the Biden administration continues to ramp up the distribution of vaccines across the country, additional providers may also become available near you.