The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is strongly advocating for the COVID-19 vaccination of individuals aged six months and older. Pharmacies across Central Florida have responded to this call, making the new COVID-19 vaccine readily available to the public.
CVS Pharmacy, one of the prominent pharmacy chains in the region, has already initiated the distribution of the vaccine in many of its stores, with more locations expected to follow suit in the coming week. Walgreens Pharmacy, another major player, is inviting people to schedule their vaccination appointments, although the full-scale rollout at most stores is slated for Monday.
Dr. Maxine Wilkerson, the pharmacy manager at a CVS branch near Orlando, reported that her pharmacy received the new COVID-19 vaccine last week and has maintained a steady stream of appointments. Dr. Wilkerson, who administers approximately 40 vaccinations daily, emphasized the importance of vaccination for those aged 65 and above or individuals with underlying health conditions such as asthma or COPD.
Addressing concerns of vaccine hesitancy, Dr. Wilkerson stressed the validity of such concerns and recommended consulting with trusted healthcare professionals, whether pharmacists or primary care physicians, for guidance.
Additionally, Dr. Wilkerson assured the public that it is safe to receive the new COVID-19 vaccine along with other vaccines, such as the flu shot, all on the same day, eliminating the need for staggering vaccinations.
However, not everyone in the medical community is in complete agreement regarding the new vaccine. Florida’s Surgeon General, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, expressed reservations about the vaccine during a recent health discussion with Governor Ron DeSantis, advocating for a better understanding before proceeding with widespread distribution.
While appointments are not mandatory, CVS and Walgreens have provided guidelines for scheduling vaccinations:
- CVS Pharmacy locations have begun receiving a supply of the new COVID-19 vaccines and anticipate continuous inventory restocking.
- Vaccinations for individuals aged five and above can be scheduled on CVS.com or via the CVS Pharmacy app. Walk-ins are welcome as vaccine availability permits.
- MinuteClinic locations will also offer the vaccine to individuals aged 18 months and above in the coming weeks.
- Walgreens now offers updated Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines nationwide to eligible individuals.
- Appointments can be scheduled immediately, with availability starting nationwide on Monday, September 18.
- For scheduling a vaccination appointment at Walgreens, visit Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine, use the Walgreens app, or call 1-800-WALGREENS.
- Walgreens offers flexible scheduling options, including nights, weekends, and walk-ins whenever possible.
The cost of COVID-19 vaccinations is covered by insurance or government assistance programs, such as the CDC’s Bridge Access Program, ensuring accessibility for uninsured and underinsured adults. Walgreens, among select pharmacies contracted by the CDC, is actively participating in the Bridge Access Program, allowing immediate service to eligible patients at all Walgreens pharmacy locations.
In pursuit of equitable and convenient access to life-saving vaccines, Walgreens remains committed to this mission, directing individuals seeking more details to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).