You can already get a home COVID test, a giant container of condoms and a pretty sweet percussion massager on your next Costco run, but the bulk retailer’s health and wellness benefits are going to have an even greater impact once Costco pharmacies are clear to administer COVID-19 vaccines.
Per a statement on Saturday, February 20, from Costco: “Costco is firmly committed to helping protect the health and safety of our members and employees, and to serving our communities. Our pharmacies will be administering COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are available, in accordance with CDC and state guidelines.” The store will offer “a limited number of COVID-19 vaccines” (most likely the Moderna vaccine) in select locations depending on the state/territory you are in — with their page showing information so far for California, New York, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Washington and South Carolina.
As with other states in the United States, Costco notes that specific demographics are being prioritized to get vaccines sooner from “higher-risk individuals including healthcare workers, adults 65 and older, and other high-risk frontline workers” and that “availability and eligible priority populations may differ by state.”
They ask that customers looking for vaccine appointments not contact their local Costco until they are able to schedule an appointment and prove they are eligible based on requirements in their state.
Costco, like other pharmacy retailers, is included in The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination is a collaboration between the federal government, states and territories, and 21 national pharmacy partners and independent pharmacy networks to increase access to COVID-19 vaccination across the United States,” the CDC writes, before introducing a list of the other pharmacies participating in this federal level program (with a note that some may be working with your state and the best information you can get is from your local pharmacy itself.) The list for the federal program includes:
- Walgreens (including Duane Reade)
- CVS Pharmacy, Inc. (including Long’s)
- Walmart, Inc. (including Sam’s Club)
- Rite Aid Corp.
- The Kroger Co. (including Kroger, Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Ralphs, King Soopers, Smiths, City Market, Dillons, Mariano’s, Pick-n-Save, Copps, Metro Market)
- Publix Super Markets, Inc.
- Costco Wholesale Corp.
- Albertsons Companies, Inc. (including Osco, Jewel-Osco, Albertsons, Albertsons Market, Safeway, Tom Thumb, Star Market, Shaw’s, Haggen, Acme, Randalls, Carrs, Market Street, United, Vons, Pavilions, Amigos, Lucky’s, Pak n Save, Sav-On)
- Hy-Vee, Inc.
- Meijer Inc.
- H-E-B, LP
- Retail Business Services, LLC (including Food Lion, Giant Food, The Giant Company, Hannaford Bros Co, Stop & Shop)
- Southeastern Grocers
- Topco Associates, LLC (including Acme Fresh Markets, Associated Food Stores, Bashas, Big-Y Pharmacy and Wellness Center, Brookshire’s Pharmacy, Super One Pharmacy, FRESH by Brookshire’s Pharmacy, Coborn’s Pharmacy, Cash Wise Pharmacy, MarketPlace Pharmacy, Giant Eagle, Hartig Drug Company, King Kullen, Food City Pharmacy, Ingles Pharmacy, Raley’s, Bel Air, Nob Hill Pharmacies, Save Mart Pharmacies, Lucky Pharmacies, SpartanNash, Price Chopper, Market 32, Tops Friendly Markets, ShopRite, Wegmans, Weis Markets, Inc.)
- CPESN USA, LLC
- GeriMed (long-term care and retail pharmacies)
- Good Neighbor Pharmacy and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation’s pharmacy services administrative organization (PSAO), Elevate Provider
- Health Mart Pharmacies
- Innovatix (long-term care pharmacies)
- LeaderNET and Medicine Shoppe, Cardinal Health’s PSAOs
- Managed Health Care Associates (retail and long-term care pharmacies)
Much has been written on the baffling and often deeply anxiety inducing process of corralling a vaccine appointment for yourself or your eligible (and often elderly, less tech savvy) relatives — but the hope is, as access to the vaccine spreads throughout the country, as messaging remains on point both for relieving unnecessary fear and debunking misinformation and as we continue to maintain proper precautions like mask-wearing and social distancing, we’ll be closer to ending the pandemic once and for all and protecting more and more lives globally.
Speaking of masks, here’s a few kid-friendly ones we’d recommend for you and your family: