How to navigate vaccine appointments at San Diego pharmacies

COVID-19 vaccine appointments are booking fast at San Diego pharmacies. A local pharmacist explains the process.

SAN DIEGO — Long lines at the grocery store may not be because of food. The COVID-19 vaccine is now being offered to eligible San Diegans at pharmacies inside Vons, Albertsons, Ralph’s and Pure Care Pharmacy around the county. But appointments are also booking fast at those pharmacies.

Albertsons Patient Care Services Pharmacist Simon To, Ph.D., shows News 8 how its vaccine appointment portal works online. When you select a location, you can cast a wide net by selecting within a 50 mile radius. If you don’t see an available appointment you can click the drop-down menu and select another nearby location. Appointments are scheduled on a weekly basis.

A super clinic is scheduled for Friday at the Ramona Albertsons and on Saturday at the Torrey Highlands Vons.

Dr. To says 1,000 doses can be administered at super clinics. Appointments are already fully booked.

“We do update our appointments daily. Sometimes more often towards evening you might see an appointment pop up here and there,” said To.

On Thursday, February 11, CVS will start administering the Moderna vaccine as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. They also anticipate fully booked appointments.

CVS says it will receive 82,000 Moderna doses statewide including San Diego in high priority locations.

CVS says if you can’t get an appointment it’s only because of vaccine supply but it will be replenished.

“It would just be that the registration slots, a number of availabilities that we have at that point are maxed out for the day. We definitely don’t want anyone to think that the vaccine has been depleted in that instance,” said Lisa Kalajian, CVS Licensed District Leader.

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Albertsons/Vons started COVID-19 vaccinations in mid-January at its 42 pharmacy locations in San Diego County.

They give 40-50 daily doses of the Moderna vaccine and 1,000 at its super clinics.

Albertsons says depending on vaccine supply they hope to host a super clinic in North County and another one in the South Bay.

“Our end goal is to help everyone get their appointment so they could get the shot in the arm,” said To.

The county says it provides vaccines to Vons/Albertsons, Ralph’s and Pure Care Pharmacy.

“Those are the three for a pharmacy to get into that system. They need to be approved by the state and then once approved by the state they would come into to our distribution system and we would supply them. Again, understanding the limitations on supply,” said Nathan Fletcher, San Diego County Board Chairman.

CVS says you can start scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine appointment on February 9 but you need to pre-register your information.

To get updates about COVID-19 vaccines at pharmacies you can subscribe to that company’s email list.

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