Walgreens preps to start COVID-19 vaccinations at 300 locations in N.C.

Pharmacies helping to get more people vaccinated

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - More people need to be vaccinated - but how? It’s a challenge national, state and local leaders are dealing with every day.

Walgreens hasn’t published the full list of locations but there are good odds if it’s not in Charlotte, there’s going to be a location the city.

Walgreens plans to distribute vaccines at 300 locations and there are 356 locations in the entire state.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores says 90% of Americans live within 5 miles of a pharmacy. They say it makes pharmacies the clear next step to ramp up vaccinations in the community.

“Pharmacies across America are prepared and have the experience to turn vaccination doses into vaccination appointments,” said Steve Anderson with the NACDS.

As part of President Biden’s vaccination plan, pharmacies will start receiving a federal allocation of vaccine doses next week. Right now the allocation is limited and only 6,500 pharmacies across the country are receiving an allocation of one million doses. Soon though, the NACDS is hoping more pharmacies will be added as vaccine supply is increased.

“You come in and you get your COVID vaccine like your flu vaccine,” said Kathleen Jaeger with the NACDS. She says pharmacies are experts at distributing vaccines and says pharmacies will be the key to ramp up vaccinations.

“Like any pharmacies, we’re very used to do vaccines. We’re just reassuring the proper method and storage right now,” said Martez Prince with Premier Pharmacy and Wellness Center in Charlotte.

This locally owned pharmacy is also part of the federal partnership program, but won’t receieve any allocation of the vaccine during this first phase. He says him and his staff have been preparing to receive it and says it could be in the matter of weeks.

But first supply has got to be increased.

“We are certainly urging everyone out there to have patience. Again, we have very limited supply through this program,” said Jaeger.

Vaccines won’t start at Walgreens until next week but appointments are being made right now.

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