RICHMOND, Va. -- As health departments and hospital systems race the clock to vaccinate Virginia's most vulnerable population, CVS Health is joining the effort to get the vaccine out to thousands of people still on waitlists.
On Feb. 12, CVS will begin to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to those 65 and older at 36 pharmacy locations across Virginia.
However, registration can only be completed through CVS if the registrant is already on a waitlist with their local health department or The Virginia Department of Health. Registration opens on Thursday, Feb. 11.
82-year-old Lois Will from Chesterfield said she and her husband have been waiting three weeks for their vaccine.
She said they've tried signing up through local hospital systems and the health department, but haven't received an appointment time.
"I called the health department and her words to me were 'we'll call you in a couple of months.' I said 'a couple of months? I'm 82 and my husband is 84,'" Will said.
The CVS vaccine allocation of 26,000 total doses a week will be provided in addition to Virginia's weekly allotment of vaccine doses. Virginia currently receives 105,000 doses per week from the federal government.
Amy Thibault, a spokesperson for CVS Health says the 26,000 weekly doses will be divided among the 36 pharmacy locations in Virginia.
While appointment times are expected to fill up quickly, Thibault says CVS hopes to release more allotments of the vaccine as production ramps up at the federal level.
CVS is not releasing participating CVS locations and is asking that people do not call individual stores, but sign up through the CVS website or app.
The is the second part of the federal pharmacy partnership, as CVS has already started vaccinating people at long-term care facilities and nursing homes.
For Lois Will and her husband, the wait for a vaccine has been long and stressful.
"We've actually had no trouble signing up. We were able to get in the system very easily, it's just getting a call back," Will said.
Will hopes their luck will change as CVS joins the massive state-wide effort to vaccinate those who are currently eligible.
"Oh, it would just relieve us immensely," Will said.
Vaccines in a retail setting will be offered on an appointment-only basis via CVS.com or through the CVS Pharmacy app, and those without online access can contact customer service: (800) 746-7287. The scheduling system will open on Feb. 11.