Federal government to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to pharmacies


Daily file illustration by Catherine Buchaniec

Walgreens locations in Illinois will start receiving vaccines directly from the federal government as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program announced by the White House on Tuesday.

Andrew Myers, Reporter

The federal government will directly distribute vaccines to over 40,000 national and independent pharmacies across the country starting Feb. 11, The White House announced Tuesday.

Evanston residents who qualify for vaccines can drive to the closest Walgreens, located in Rogers Park on the corner of Howard Street and Western Avenue. Walgreens is currently the only participating pharmacy serving Illinois, with the possibility of more joining later in the year.

Grocery stores Jewel Osco, Mariano’s and Kroger are also in partnership with Illinois and will have vaccines available.

The Evanston Health Department is also alerting residents who qualify for a vaccine and administering it at the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center. Residents who fill out the city’s vaccine interest form will receive regular updates on vaccine distribution, as well as the location and timing for their potential inoculation.

Select Walgreens locations across the state will start receiving vaccines Feb. 12. They will be administering the Moderna vaccine by appointment only. The company will receive an additional 39,300 vaccines each week from the federal government as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, which is separate from the allotted quantity the state of Illinois has already received.

Walgreens and other pharmacy chains have already been in partnership with Illinois through a different federal program, the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Jan. 25 Walgreens and Jewel Osco would begin to open their own vaccination sites through the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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