National pharmacy chains are gearing up to administer the recently authorized updates to the COVID-19 vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration.
CVS Health has announced that its pharmacies and retail medical clinics will start receiving the new vaccine as of Wednesday, with inventory deliveries scheduled throughout the week. CVS anticipates that all its pharmacy locations will have the updated vaccine in stock by early next week.
On the other hand, Walgreens has made it clear on its website that individuals can now schedule appointments immediately, with appointments available nationwide starting on Monday. As more vaccines are received by stores throughout the week, additional appointment slots may become available on a rolling basis.
This vaccination rollout follows an advisory panel’s approval at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday, extending the eligibility for the new vaccine to individuals aged 6 months and older. The CDC continues to emphasize that vaccination remains the most effective defense against COVID-19-related hospitalization and fatalities. It also significantly reduces the risk of Long COVID, a condition that can manifest during or after an acute infection and persist for an extended period.
According to CDC data, as of September 2, the United States has witnessed over 6.3 million COVID-19-related hospitalizations and 1.1 million deaths from COVID-19-related illnesses. The CDC strongly encourages anyone who has not received a COVID-19 vaccine in the past two months to consider getting an updated vaccine to ensure protection throughout the upcoming fall and winter seasons.
CVS has streamlined the appointment scheduling process, allowing individuals aged 5 and above to make appointments at CVS.com and via the CVS Pharmacy app. Walk-in appointments will also be accommodated as vaccine supplies become available at specific locations. The digital scheduling option on the CVS website and app permits the scheduling of up to four appointments simultaneously, making it convenient for families, caregivers, and groups to get vaccinated together.
To schedule appointments at Walgreens, individuals can visit Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine or use the Walgreens app. Alternatively, they can call 1-800-WALGREENS for assistance. As vaccine inventory arrives at Walgreens stores, additional appointment slots will be added daily to ensure accessibility.