Independent pharmacies included in federal vaccine program

Program is separate from allocations to the state

Independent pharmacies included in federal vaccine program
Independent pharmacies included in federal vaccine program

The federal government will be sending more than 65,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Florida.

Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement from Jacksonville on Tuesday.

National chains like Walmart, Sam’s Club and Winn-Dixie will receive shipments of the Moderna vaccine through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.

[RELATED: Walmarts in 34 Florida counties to offer COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s the list of locations]

[RELATED: Winn-Dixie to begin COVID-19 vaccinations Thursday. Here’s the list of locations]

This is separate from allocations to the state.

Thousands of pharmacies are waiting for shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine through the federal program.

The Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network is included in the program.

The Centers for Disease Control listed the national pharmacy network as a federal partner in the vaccine distribution plan.

“This program is now going to bring in the extra doses that everyone is asking for, and will really help ramp up the numbers in the daily vaccination rate,” Luminary of CPESN Florida and owner of Prescriptions Unlimited Eric Larson said.

Larson said CPESN does things that are untraditionally aimed at improved patient care. He said increasing access to the COVID-19 vaccine is part of their community-based approach.

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“The federal government has taken a strong position in saying we’re going to start enhancing and shipping vaccines directly to specific partners, CPESN is one of those partners,” Larson said.

The specifics of how much will arrive is still unclear. Gov. DeSantis said Walmart and Sam’s Club will receive at least 25,000 doses of the vaccine.

“We don’t know yet and for most of the partners out there and I spoke to some representatives at Winn-Dixie and Walmart and it’s really sporadic, it’s not a huge shipment we are receiving it’s only certain stores and certain counties,” Larson said.

Gov. DeSantis said seniors 65 and older are still the first priority. He said on Friday there will be 119 Walmart stores across 34 counties that will begin offering COVID-19 vaccinations.

About the Author:

Nicky Zizaza is an Emmy-nominated reporter who joined the News 6 nightside team in December 2018. She is originally from Rwanda and she started her journalism career in the nation's capital.