Health care workers in the United States received Covid-19 vaccinations Monday, the first Americans to do so outside of a clinical trial.
However, it will be a few more months before the average person can go to their local drug or grocery store and get the vaccine. In interviews with CNBC, Walgreens and CVS Health officials said they plan to fire shots for the general public starting this spring.
“We assume we’ll be able to do this in the next few months [it in] Our business is similar to flu season, “said Rina Shah, group vice president of pharmacies at Walgreens, on CNBC’s” The Exchange “on Monday. She said it was” hopefully in the spring. “
For now, Shah said, it’s important that healthcare workers and long-term care workers have priority as supplies remain limited.
“As more vaccines become available, access to this vaccine will continue to grow,” she said.
CVS senior vice president Chris Cox hopes the company can drop the vaccine in their drugstores “somewhere in April-May.”
Two prominent public health officials – Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House coronavirus advisor, and Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University School of Public Health – said Monday they expect healthy Americans who do not qualify for a vaccine job or health status because of their health to get the vaccine in late March or April. Fauci made the comments in an interview with Hallie Jackson of NBC News, and Jha shared the same schedule in an interview with ABC’s “The View.”
Nearly 20 drug stores and grocery stores – including Walgreens and CVS – partnered with the U.S. Department of Health in mid-November to support the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines. The two drugstore chains will also play a central role in the early stages of vaccine introduction. They have made arrangements with the federal government to vaccinate residents and employees of tens of thousands of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities across the country.
Costco also expects to start offering Covid-19 vaccinations to the general public in its pharmacies starting this spring, CEO Craig Jelinek said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Monday.
Rite Aid, Kroger, Publix, and HEB – some of the other retailers involved in the vaccination effort – said they are still waiting to hear when they will get vaccination doses and can offer the shots to Americans.
Walmart is preparing its 5,000+ stores for the vaccines, although it wasn’t known when they might arrive. In a post on the company’s website, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tom Van Gilder, the big box retailer, is adding freezing capacity and getting dry ice for its pharmacies. He said it is also developing a process that will help people keep track of their first and second vaccine doses and train the staff who may receive them.
CVS ‘Cox said in an interview with CNBC last week that when vaccines become available to the general public, people will have to make appointments with CVS to get their recordings.
“If someone makes an appointment, we will immediately inform them that it is a two-shot vaccine and we will get them to plan them wherever they go like a round-trip ticket.” schedule both doses at the same time, “said Cox, who also serves as the company’s liaison with Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s vaccine development program.
Pfizer and BioNTech’s two-dose vaccine is the only one to have received emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration. By spring, however, the health authorities expect vaccines from several manufacturers to be available. Moderna’s vaccine could get the go-ahead from the FDA later this week. It also requires two doses.
Cox said the vaccine the customer will receive depends on what is in store in the store.