ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program starts this week at certain participating locations in New York state. This strategy is only one aspect of President Joe Biden’s plan to administer 100 million shots in 100 days. The program hopes to increase overall supply in New York and the U.S. overall.
Outside of New York City, the pharmacy partners in the program within New York state include CVS, Walgreens, and Retail Business Services LLC—which includes Hannaford. According to the CDC, pharmacy partners will be responsible for selecting which specific retail locations will receive the federal vaccine supply “based on various factors, including equitable access, demand, supply, and market saturation.”
“We’re just considering ourselves really grateful that we have this opportunity for the public,” Katherine McCormack, Hannaford’s head of vaccine rollout for New York state.
Currently, five New York Hannaford locations have been receiving 100 doses each through the state for the past two weeks. McCormack said she’s hopeful the federal supply will allow Hannaford to expand the locations that are administering the vaccine to the community.
“Everything with COVID is very fluid, and it changes day to day, as to say the least. So, we’re playing by the rules they present to us on a daily basis,” said McCormack. “We have to follow the guidance from the state government, and that’s no matter how we obtain our vaccine.”
As per state guidance, retail pharmacies can only administer vaccines to residents 65 and older at this time.
McCormack said that eligible seniors face the challenge of supply deficiencies and the difficulty of signing up for the vaccine online.
“You know, people call, and they’re like the website doesn’t have any appointments, can you get me one? No, everything is on the website,” said McCormack. “Unfortunately, and our pharmacy feels awful about that, but we only get so many vaccines, and we’re giving them out as quickly as we can.”
Before signing up for an appointment on any retail pharmacy website, an eligible person must first fill out the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Form. They can then check the following participating websites to sign up for an appointment once the supply permits.
- Hannaford: https://www.hannaford.com/pharmacy/covid-19-vaccine
- CVS: https://www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine#statetool
- Walgreens: https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19?ban=covid_vaccine_landing_schedule
Hannaford stated that they are unsure when the first shipment from the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program should arrive and how many doses they will receive. However, they said it will arrive this week, and more appointments should become available on their website at that time.