How to get a COVID booster shot on CVS, Walgreens or Rite Aid

CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens and Rite Aid are all offering COVID-19 booster shots, since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded the eligibility for COVID booster shots last week.

How to get one if you meet the eligibility criteria.

Check your eligibility

Although the CDC has expanded eligibility for COVID booster shots, and there are now booster recommendations for all three COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States, you should still check to see if you are eligible to receive one.

Here are the following criteria, according to the CDC, that would entitle one to receive a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 booster shot six months after the second dose of a two-dose series:

  • 65 years and older
  • Age 18+ living in long-term care
  • Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions (eg: cancer, cerebrovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, COPD, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, pregnancy or recent pregnancy, or if you are a current or former smoker)
  • Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk environments (eg health professionals, caregivers of immunocompromised persons, persons in prisons or prisons, people living in homeless shelters, etc.)

If you received the one-shot Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC recommends that anyone 18 years of age or older who received the vaccine two or more months ago should receive a J&J COVID-19 booster. shot.

Rite Aid said on its website that it would also offer additional, fourth doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to severely immunocompromised individuals 28 days after the last dose to the following individuals:

  • Had a solid organ transplant or recent hematopoietic malignancies
  • Active or recent treatment for solid tumor haematological malignancies (cancer)
  • Severe primary immune deficiency
  • Advanced or untreated HIV
  • Active treatment with high dose corticosteroids, alkylating agents, antimetabolites, TNF blockers and other biological agents
  • Asplenia and chronic kidney disease may be considered if the condition is severe

Make an appointment at the pharmacy

People who are interested in making appointments at CVS, at Walgreens or at Rite Aid are strongly encouraged to make them online on the pharmacies’ respective websites.

Walgreens also said on its website that you can call your local pharmacy or 1-800-Walgreens to make an appointment.

Rite Aid also said on its website that walk-in appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis in addition to appointments scheduled online.

Each participating CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic offers either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, but not all three at the same time. So it is advisable to check with your local pharmacy for availability.

For CVS, patients will be asked to state the date and manufacturer of their last COVID shot and eligibility before ordering an appointment.

Walgreens has a similar process where individuals will be able to see which pharmacies are offering specific vaccines on specific appointment dates.

The availability of vaccines varies by location at Walgreens, and not all of them may be available in some areas, so it is advisable to check with your local pharmacy online in advance.

Related stories about COVID-19:

Should I mix and match COVID vaccines? What you need to know about the newly approved boosters

COVID breakthrough cases: What to know about symptoms, duration, quarantine, long-term effects

The side effects you need to be aware of if you get a COVID booster shot

Vaccination plan for children: When can children under 12 receive the COVID vaccine?

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