The Biden administration announced Tuesday that it would increase vaccine distribution to States, Tribes and territories by 5 percent as increased funding and the comprehensive National Strategy turns vaccines into vaccinations. This comes days after the United States hit the milestone of more people vaccinated than active cases. The President announced in a press release that, starting February 11, the first phase of the federal pharmacy program will select pharmacies nationwide to offer vaccinations for their communities.
“We greatly appreciate President-elect Biden’s thoughtful and determined remarks and his pledge to ‘fully activate the pharmacies across this country to get the vaccinations into more arms as quickly as possible,’” said National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson.
Federal Pharmacy Partners include Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Rite Aid, Publix and Winn-Dixie. An estimated 6,500 pharmacies will provide vaccinations nationwide in the first phase.
Distributing vaccines through retail drug stores gives those living in rural communities easier access to the vaccine. Ninety percent of Americans live within five miles of a drug store.
The Alabama Department of Public Health launched an online portal for scheduling COVID-19 vaccinations.
The portal allows residents to check their eligibility and to make appointments at county health departments.
The Biden Administration has increased the weekly vaccine supply to states to 10.5 million doses nationwide. This is a 22% increase since taking office. Biden has made it a goal to administer 100 million shots in 100 days. The administration averaged 1,355,451 daily doses over the past week, and is on track to meet that goal.
At time of reporting, Alabama has vaccinated 373,907 of the 798,125 doses delivered to the state.
Retail pharmacies will receive limited vaccine supply to vaccinate priority groups at no cost. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will work with states to select initial pharmacies based on a number of factors including their ability to reach populations most at risk. Vaccine supplies will be limited in the initial phase.