WSJ US BusinessCovid-19 Vaccines to Stress-Test Grocery Stores and Pharmacies

February 1, 20210

Some of America’s biggest retailers are preparing to take a central role in administering Covid-19 shots, hoping to avoid logjams and other complications that have slowed the vaccine rollout’s early days.

The U.S. fell far short of its initial goal of inoculating 20 million people by the end of 2020, with health departments, hospital systems and long-term-care facilities beset by supply-chain bottlenecks, vaccine hesitancy and confusing, scattershot systems for making appointments.

Not all Americans are eligible for the vaccines, and shots remain in short supply. But vaccines are becoming more broadly available in some states, and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aims to make them available in local pharmacies beginning next month. There is no cost to receive the vaccine.

(Check the WSJ’s state-by-state guide.)

The job of vaccinating large swaths of the population will fall largely on retail pharmacies, with companies such as CVS Health Corp. , Walgreens -Boots Alliance Inc., Walmart Inc. and Kroger Co. saying they are prepared to give tens of millions of shots a month.

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