The recently approved Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine is opening up more opportunities to get shots more widely distributed. Pharmacies, state and local health departments, and other vaccinators have flexibility in how they decide when the shots can be delivered, who gets them, and when they get them.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is relatively low-maintenance, able to be stored in regular refrigerators and requires only a single dose, NBC News reports. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two shots, three to four weeks apart; the Moderna vaccine needs to be kept at very cold temperatures.
Federal and state authorities’ guideline to prioritize vulnerable populations in the first phase of the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines are as follows:
- Phase 1a: health care workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities
- Phase 1b: front-line essential workers and adults 75 years of age and older
- Phase 1c: individuals aged 65 through 74 years and age 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions
As part of the vaccine rollout, pharmacies across the nation are currently working with several states through the federal partnership with the CDC or through a direct partnership with the state.
Once they are able to begin vaccinating the general public and vaccines are widely available at CVS Pharmacy locations, an appointment will be required. Customers will be able to easily schedule their vaccinations—both the initial shot and the required second dose (if required) —at CVS.com or through the CVS app.
Walgreens and Rite-Aid are just a few pharmacies of many offering online vaccine registrations. Walmart is creating a series of community events to administer the COVID-19 vaccine across the country in order to drive higher vaccination rates in vulnerable communities.