TUCSON, AZ – A new federal program is aiming to speed up coronavirus vaccinations throughout the U.S., including in Arizona.
The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program was announced on Tuesday as a collaboration between the federal government, states and territories, and 21 national pharmacy partners. The pharmacies involved will receive doses directly from the federal government, with 1 million doses slated for roughly 6,500 pharmacies across the country, The Associated Press reported.
In Arizona, select Safeway, Albertsons and Fry’s pharmacies will be taking part across the state.
“Throughout the pandemic, the communities we serve have trusted our pharmacy teams to play a critical role in maintaining their health and wellness,” Nancy Keane, a spokesperson for Albertsons Safeway, told Patch. “Our pharmacy teams have been preparing to handle the unprecedented demand and administer the vaccine safely and efficiently as members of the public become eligible.”
Keane said the Arizona locations will be receiving its first vaccines from the federal government late this week to supplement what it is already providing for the state. The supply of doses will be limited in the early phase of the partnership, she said, but the company hopes to increase the number of participating pharmacies as the program gets underway.
Likewise, the vaccine will be available at select Fry’s locations in Tempe. Pam Giannonatti, a spokesperson for Kroger, which owns Fry’s, told Patch that the company has been asked to target Phase 1B only at this time in coordination with the local health department’s guidance. Some Fry’s locations are vaccinating those 65 and older, even though the county is not currently able to do so; the Arizona Department of Health Services deems the group eligible at this time.
However, vaccine supply is very limited and fill up very quickly, Giannonatti said. The number of stores involved in the vaccination program will change depending on vaccine availability, she continued.
Those eligible can make an appointment at online or call 1-866-211-5320.
To qualify to receive the vaccine, a resident must be in Phase 1a or priority 1b of the state's vaccination plan. That includes the following:
Health care workers
Residents and staff of long-term care facilities
Anyone 65 and older (select locations)
Child care workers
A few locations near Tucson include:
Fry's: 4146 E. 22nd Street
Fry's: 3640 S. 16th Avenue
Safeway: 12122 N. Rancho Vistoso Boulevard
The pharmacies will be offering the Moderna vaccine.
Find a full list of pharmacies on the Arizona Department of Health Services’ Find Vaccine tool.
To date, 684,041 people in Arizona have received at least one of two vaccine doses. Approximately 159,902 have received both.