Health

CVS and Walgreens begin COVID-19 vaccinations in California: What you need to know


Starting Friday, COVID-19 vaccines will be available at some CVS pharmacies in California for those currently eligible in their county. The scheduling system will open Thursday, CVS says.

The initial allocation to CVS is 250,000 doses, part of a partnership with the federal government. About 81,900 of those doses will be coming to California CVS pharmacies, to be administered in approximately 100 stores, possibly including the pharmacies inside Target stores.

In Southern California, locations will include the following, among others:

  • Agoura Hills
  • Carlsbad
  • Chula Vista
  • Huntington Beach
  • Irvine
  • Los Angeles
  • Newport Beach
  • San Diego

Appointments are required. Those can be made through CVS.com or through the CVS Pharmacy smartphone app. Those without internet access can call (800) 746-7287. CVS asks people not to contact individual pharmacies.

If it’s your first dose, you’ll schedule appointments for your first and second dose at the same time. You’ll receive a vaccination card that notes which vaccine you received and when you need to return. The pharmacy will also keep track of which dose you receive so you get the same second dose.

Appointments will probably fill up quickly, but new appointments will be added daily, CVS said.

Each pharmacy will receive only Pfizer or Moderna based on availability. But after more pharmacies are able to offer the vaccine, patients will be able to see the type of vaccine each pharmacy offers before making an appointment.

When you arrive for your appointment, staffers will ask for an insurance card, valid Social Security number, driver’s license or state ID number. The CVS website says that the vaccine will not cost you anything, but CVS will bill your insurance or the federal government for reimbursement.

CVS says its goal is to offer vaccines in nearly all of its 9,900 pharmacies once there is enough supply.

Walgreens also plans to begin vaccinations in stores on Friday in Riverside, Contra Costa and Placer counties. Appointments can be made through Walgreens’ scheduler at Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine. You’ll need to make a Walgreens pharmacy account and complete a short screening. You’ll be able to schedule appointments for both doses at the same time.

There are also limited vaccine doses available at other pharmacies, including Vons, Albertsons, Costco and Ralphs (a subsidiary of Kroger).

Rite Aid says its pharmacies are prepared to administer the vaccine but haven’t received any doses yet.

Walmart is distributing vaccines in some states, but doesn’t have plans to do so in California.

Check each pharmacy’s website for the latest information on vaccine supply and how to schedule an appointment.




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