CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid to offer walk-up or same-day COVID-19 vaccines

As the coronavirus response has seemed to turn a corner, large pharmacy chains are going to change how they distribute COVID-19 vaccines.

Gone are the days of searching for a location that will dispense the shot and then getting on a waiting list.

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Instead, CVS, Walgreens and Rite-Aid locations across the country are now offering same-day appointments.

Walgreens started offering same-day appointments this week. The company also rolled out mobile clinics in underserved neighborhoods where people can walk up and get vaccinated, CNBC reported.

CVS started same-day appointments late last month with some people able to get their vaccination in an hour after signing up for a spot, according to CNBC. This week the company announced it would have walk-in vaccine appointments available, The Hill reported.

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Rite Aid also started offering limited walk-in appointments at every store, according to The Hill.

But the news that vaccines will be more easily available came just days after a new report from Kaiser Health News that discovered CVS and Walgreens had wasted many vaccine doses in March.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the two pharmacy chains threw out 128,500 doses, Kaiser reported. Overall the CDC found that 182,874 doses were thrown out in March, not only by the pharmacies but also by state and federal agencies.

Pfizer’s vaccine that had to be stored in ultra-cold temperatures counted for 60% of the thrown-out doses, Kaiser reported.

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