WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — Tops Friendly Markets announced it has partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on a program to maximize access to the COVID-19 vaccine for all Americans.
HHS says the government is partnering with "large chain pharmacies and networks that represent independent pharmacies and regional chains throughout the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands," to maximize access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Ensuring access and affordability of the COVID-19 vaccine for all Americans is a top priority for the Trump Administration,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “We are leveraging the existing private sector infrastructure to get safe and effective vaccines supported by Operation Warp Speed into communities and into arms as quickly as possible with no out-of-pocket costs. The vast majority of Americans live within five miles of a pharmacy, and our new agreement with pharmacy partners across America is a critical step toward making sure all Americans have access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines when they are available.”
Tops says its pharmacists and pharmacy interns are trained and certified through APHA, American Pharmacists Association, to give immunizations.
“Tops Friendly Markets pharmacies are proud to be among one of the first sites receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) partnerships,” said Matthew Hamed, director of Pharmacy for Tops. “As members of Topco, a network of independent retailers, we are able to offer the same opportunities for our customers as the larger chains. This partnership with HHS will allow our pharmacies to provide access to those who may not otherwise have access to the vaccine.”
Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine and Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine have been authorized for emergency use by the FDA.
Tops says the vaccine will be made available to retail pharmacies during Phase II of distribution and it will follow all guidelines set forth by the state and federal governments. No official time frame has been given.