As part of a national push to get doses of the coronavirus vaccine directly to pharmacies, 18 CVS locations in Massachusetts are slated to receive shipments starting next Thursday.
“This will provide more sites for people to get vaccinated in their communities and it’s an important component to delivering vaccines equitably," White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zeints said.
The federal government will send doses directly to drugstores beginning Feb. 11, Zients said, including Walgreens and CVS locations. Due to constrained supply of the vials, however, the program will start with about 6,500 retail stores nationwide with plans to eventually expand it to 40,000 pharmacies.
The goal is to expand access to the lifesaving shots nationwide.
In Massachusetts, more than 21,000 shots will be shipped to 18 pharmacy locations, according to CVS. Representatives from the Rhode Island-based chain said vaccines will be offered by appointment-only, which can be made on their website or over the phone.
Information on the exact locations that will offer the vaccine remains unclear.
The shipment announcement comes a week after the White House said it would increase supply to states by 16% over the next three weeks.
Massachusetts started vaccinating residents 75 years and older Monday as it entered the second phase of its COVID-19 vaccination plan. That age group joins first responders, healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities, who were eligible in Phase 1.
Appointments opened up for those over 75 last week, but the efforts were hampered by numerous accounts of older residents who could not navigate the state's website or waited hours only to find that all slots were already full.