The additional doses will be distributed under a new Federal Retail Pharmacy Program that the White House announced Tuesday. Illinois and Chicago are two of the 15 jurisdictions in which Walgreens will offer these additional doses.
Approximately 450 Walgreens locations across the state will receive roughly 39,300 additional doses, the company said. Walgreens selected the participating stores "based on their proximity to socially vulnerable and medically underserved areas" in accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the retail pharmacy giant said.
These thousands of additional doses are on top of the supply that Walgreens already receives through the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Walgreens, based in suburban Deerfield, said only the Moderna vaccine will be used in this effort, one of two vaccines federally approved for use. Walgreens also noted that this new effort does not change any eligibility requirements or open doses up for those who do not yet qualify, saying vaccines will still be given only in accordance with state and local guidelines.
Illinois entered Phase 1B of its COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan last week, standing up new vaccination sites and increasing eligibility to millions of residents.
Phase 1B opens up vaccinations to people age 65 years and older as well as "frontline essential workers," which includes first responders, education workers like teachers and support staff, childcare workers, grocery store employees, postal service workers and more. Roughly 3.2 million Illinois residents are eligible to be vaccinated in Phase 1B.
Walgreens noted that vaccine supply remains limited and the new doses will still be given by appointment only, not on a walk-in basis at this time. Appointments can be made through the company's appointment scheduler at Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine.
The additional vaccinations through the new federal partnership will begin Feb. 11, according to the White House. The initiative across 15 states and jurisdictions in the U.S. includes 21 national pharmacy partners and networks with more than 40,000 locations nationwide.
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