Here’s where you’ll be able to go for a free coronavirus vaccine

Healthcare cure concept with a hand in blue medical gloves holding Coronavirus, Covid 19 virus, vaccine vial


The coronavirus vaccine is expected to become widely available for the general US population in early 2021.One place where you’ll be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine for free is at any location of the Rite Aid drugstore chain.Rite Aid has sent out a letter to customers saying it will provide COVID-19 vaccine shots at no cost.

Dr. Peter Hotez, co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital, said in an interview this week with NPR that after certain populations started to get vaccinated for COVID-19 in December, a broader vaccination program will follow quickly once 2021 gets underway.

Indeed, the expectation is that a “significant percentage” of the US population will be able to receive the coronavirus vaccine early next year — which the doctor says is the reason why he’s asked one question pretty regularly. It’s “‘Hey, doc, which vaccine are you waiting for?’ And the answer is… I’m going to take any of those vaccines that are made available to me once they’re authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration. Don’t overthink it. Don’t wait. Get what vaccine you can.’”

Along those lines, we will have the luxury of not needing to wait or a scarcity of supply for the broader public in early 2021, thanks to the breakthroughs of scientists and researchers at companies like Pfizer and Moderna that are bringing effective vaccines to fruition with an unprecedented degree of speed, the likes of which has been hitherto unthinkable. We also have Operation Warp Speed to thank, the federal government effort to make the resources of the government available to companies that have been racing to develop a vaccine for the deadly pathogen, as well as the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden — who promised on the campaign trail that COVID-19 vaccines would be free to all Americans. Likewise, the drugstore chain Rite Aid has sent out a letter to customers — penned by company EVP and Chief Pharmacy Officer Jocelyn Konrad — that promises the coronavirus vaccine will be available “at no cost.”

 “Through our partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an official COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider, we are staged and ready to make this life-saving vaccine available in all of the communities we serve when it becomes available to Rite Aid.

This means you will be able to receive the vaccine from your neighborhood Rite Aid pharmacist, whom you know and trust. Better yet, the COVID-19 vaccines will be available at no cost.”

Upon availability of the vaccine, Konrad continues, customers will be able to schedule an appointment whenever it’s convenient for them. She adds that the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines in testing indicates the need for a two-shot series to provide the best protection from the virus. So, to make the two-shot series convenient, Rite Aid will send out a reminder for peoples’ second scheduled COVID-19 shot.

“As we get closer to an approved vaccine, we will keep you informed on when it will be available to you and continue to post updates on our website,” Konrad writes.