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How grocery stores, retail pharmacies are ramping up COVID-19 vaccine distribution

The stores are partnering with state and local health departments to offer the vaccines to help alleviate the long waits some have experienced at vaccination sites.

ARIZONA, USA — A select number of grocery stores across Arizona have been allocated by the Arizona Department of Health Services to offer the vaccine, including Fry's and Albertson's.

The additional vaccination locations will provide more options, helping alleviate long lines at mass vaccination sites.

"These vaccines are the light at the end of the tunnel," said Dr. Cara Christ, director of ADHS.

Frustrations surrounding vaccine appointments  

COVID-19 vaccines have been a sign of hope for Arizonans in the middle of the pandemic, but it hasn't been smooth sailing for everyone.

"I had a feeling that this was not just going to be a super easy process," said Alisa Mueller.  

Plenty of people are finding themselves frustrated just trying to sign up for an appointment. 

Dr. Christ acknowledges the department has had issues with the website and they're continually trying to improve it so they can avoid another system overload.

Grocery stores partner with the state to offer the vaccine  

Fry's Food Stores and Albertson's are now partnering with state and local health departments to offer COVID-19 vaccines at select stores to help alleviate the long waits some have experienced at vaccination sites.

"We're certainly very excited to be able to participate and offer vaccines in our select locations," said Stephanie Spark of Fry's Pharmacies. "Help really engage in that fight against COVID-19."

Spark says they're getting a limited number of the Moderna vaccine doses to start with and they plan to expand the program as the supply increases.

 COVID-19 vaccine in high demand  

Appointments are limited to people 75 and older in Maricopa and Mohave counties and 65 and older in other counties across the state.

Deputy Director of the National Economic Council David Kamin says the White House projects there won't be enough ways to deliver vaccines to Americans once vaccine production fully ramps up.

"If vaccines come online that we hope to come online, there simply will not be sufficient capacity right now to deliver shots into arms," Kamin said.

Available appointments are booking up fast 

Vaccination appointments are going quick, so Spark recommends visiting the Fry's pharmacy website often.

Anyone who gets the vaccine through Fry's will book their second dose appointment when they get their first shot. 

For more information, go to the Fry's website, Albertson's website, or ADHS's site.

Infectious Disease Epidemiology is responsible for monitoring and controlling infectious diseases in general, including diseases that can be prevented with vaccines such as measles, rubella, pertussis and hepatitis B, diseases that cause diarrhea and vomiting (salmonellosis, listeriosis, cholera), diseases caused by fungi (valley fever), and diseases caused by bacteria-related toxins (botulism, food poisoning).

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