The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination

A Collaboration Between the Federal Government, States and Territories, and 21 National Pharmacy Partners and Independent Pharmacy Networks Nationwide

Illustration: retail pharmacy setting showing customers in front of a pharmacist
Federal Retail Pharmacy Program Highlights
  • As of Dec. 1, more than 180.5 million doses have been administered and reported by retail pharmacies across programs in the US, which includes 8 million doses administered onsite to long-term care facilities in the early days of the vaccination program.
  • A total of 21 retail pharmacy partners are participating in the program, with more than 41,000 locations online and administering doses nationwide. This includes long-term care pharmacies.

The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program (FRPP) for COVID-19 Vaccination is one part of the federal government’s strategy to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines for the American public. Pharmacies are readily accessible in communities – with most Americans living within five miles of a pharmacy. Recognizing this, the federal government made them a key part of its COVID-19 vaccination strategy.

Increasing the number of places where people can get vaccinated will help ensure more people are protected, ultimately helping us end this pandemic. This partnership involves 21 national pharmacy partners and independent pharmacy networks, representing over 41,000 retail and long-term care pharmacy locations nationwide. In addition, COVID-19 vaccine is free of charge for everyone.

Participating pharmacies will bill private and public insurance for the vaccine administration fee. For uninsured patients, this fee will be reimbursed through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fundexternal icon.

How the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program Works

The FRPP is designed to use the strength and expertise of pharmacy partners to help rapidly vaccinate the American public. Through the program, certain retail pharmacies nationwide are receiving COVID-19 vaccine supply directly from the federal government.

As the supply of vaccine has increased, so has the number of retail locations providing COVID-19 vaccination. Pharmacy partners use this supply to vaccinate eligible individuals at no cost. The program relies on a collaboration with public health (CDC and state, local, and territorial health departments) to encourage individuals to go to pharmacies and get vaccinated.

Community outreach remains critical to educating people about the importance of vaccination and where vaccines are available nearby. For more information, see 12 COVID-19 Vaccination Strategies for Your Community.

COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility and Availability

  • Everyone 5 years of age and older is now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination.
  • You can visit Vaccines.gov; text your zip code to 438829 (GETVAX); call 1-800-232-0233; or check your state health department website. Visit How Do I Get a COVID-19 Vaccine to learn more.
  • Individuals interested in getting vaccinated at their local pharmacy should check the pharmacy’s website to find out if COVID-19 vaccine is available. Most pharmacy locations are now offering walk-in vaccination appointments as supply allows.
Page last reviewed: December 6, 2021