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Albertsons, Vons, Costco Pharmacies To Carry Future COVID-19 Vaccine

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – When a coronavirus vaccine is finally approved by the FDA, it will be delivered to thousands of pharmacies across the U.S., federal health authorities announced Thursday.

cold storage covid vaccine
Biological samples are placed into a nitrogen freeze chamber in the cryogenic cold storage laboratory at the Ambroise Pare Clinic in Paris, France, on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. The vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. must be stored in deep-freezer conditions of -70 degrees celsius, facilities that even many major hospitals dont have -- not to mention developing countries where electricity is intermittent. Photographer: Nathan Laine/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Costco, Rite Aid, CVS Walgreens and Albertsons - which also owns Vons and Pavilions – are among dozens of major retailers nationwide whose pharmacies will carry the vaccine, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports.

The pharmacies will be allotted a certain number of doses that they can then administer to the public.

The vaccines will be free.

It's unclear how the pharmacies plan to store the vaccine, which must be kept at incredibly cold temperatures of at least minus 70 degrees Celsius, according to reports.

Albertsons Friday said that its pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are all trained to administer vaccines. The public will be able to sign up for vaccinations and fill out necessary paperwork online using the Albertsons app.

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"Throughout this pandemic, our pharmacy teams have been on the front lines, offering care and health solutions for our communities," said Kevin Curry, president of the Southern California Division for Albertson Companies. "When a vaccine is ready, our pharmacists will play a critical role in administering this important public health service."

Earlier this week, drug maker Pfizer reported that trials so far of its coronavirus vaccine show it to be 90% effective.

If approved by the FDA, the vaccine requires patients to receive two shots delivered 21 days apart.

Pfizer has said it will likely be able to manufacture 50 million doses by the end of this year and up to 1.3 billion in 2021.

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