RALEIGH — Walgreens will start offering COVID-19 vaccine in North Carolina next week through a federal partnership.
The drugstore giant has been selected as North Carolina's distributor in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination, an effort starting next week that will see drugstores across the country offering the vaccine.
Walgreens expects to receive 31,200 vaccines to distribute in North Carolina, according to a fact sheet posted to the company's website. Those will be spread across 300 locations statewide that the company says were chosen based on the medically underserved nature of the surrounding area and CDC social vulnerability index scores.
Vaccinations will begin at Walgreens on Feb. 12, according to a news release.
Appointments will open up next week, according to Emily Delnicki, a Walgreens spokeswoman. Those interested will be able to visit www.walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19 to make an appointment for vaccination at a Walgreens pharmacy. Walk-in vaccinations will not be available.
Demand is high and supply is low, so vaccination appointments often fill up quickly. Officials recommend to check back often.
Walgreens operates 356 stores in North Carolina, according to its website. Delnicki said she "could not share" the locations that will receive vaccine.
The federal government allocates vaccine to states on a weekly basis, and the vaccine headed to Walgreens locations in North Carolina will be removed from that allocation. It was not immediately clear if the 31,200 doses headed to Walgreens will all come out of next week's allocation or if they will be spread out over multiple weeks.
During a Tuesday press conference, Dr. Mandy Cohen, the secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services, said, "They will be getting a very small amount of vaccine at a few of their locations. We're still working through exactly where that will be with our partners, but we have heard that that will move forward."
Walgreens will determine someone's eligibility to receive the vaccine using North Carolina's guidelines, meaning people who can get a shot now include anyone 65 years or older, any medical personnel who works around patients and anyone who lives or works in a long-term care facility.
Anyone receiving the vaccine at Walgreens will receive the Moderna vaccine, according to the factsheet. COVID-19 vaccine will be free at Walgreens and anywhere else.