COVID-19: Vaccination frequently asked questions (FAQ)
What is the role of CVS Health in administering COVID-19 vaccines?
CVS Health is currently playing a prominent role in administering COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible populations and has surpassed 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered through its participation in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program and Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. The company is now administering vaccines in nearly 2,000 stores across 49 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., with the pace of vaccinations expected to rapidly accelerate as more supply becomes available. CVS Pharmacy has the capacity to administer up to 25 million shots per month.
COVID-19 vaccine administration at CVS Pharmacy FAQs
Can patients make a vaccine appointment at CVS.com?
Eligible customers are now able to schedule an appointment on CVS.com. Customers can visit CVS.com and the CVS app frequently to check for available appointments and to schedule vaccinations — both the initial shot and the required second dose. Anyone requiring assistance with the scheduling tool or without access to a computer or mobile device is encouraged to contact CVS Customer Service.
Can I choose which vaccine to receive at CVS Pharmacy?
At this time, our select CVS Pharmacy locations that are currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible populations have either the Moderna, Pfizer or Janssen vaccine – not more than one type at this time. Patients will be able to see which CVS Pharmacy location has which vaccine and appointment availability on cvs.com before scheduling. Depending on which vaccine you receive, you will be prompted to schedule a second dose if needed.
Given limited supply of all three types of COVID-19 vaccines at this time, we recommend that you receive whichever shot is available to you now, based on your state’s eligibility and supply, to best protect you and your community against COVID-19.
When will CVS Health begin vaccinating in all 50 states?
CVS Pharmacy will continue to expand the number of states where we are able to administer the vaccine as vaccine supply increases. Once the vaccine is available to the general population, we expect to vaccinate in CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide with the ability to administer up to 20-25 million shots per month, provided adequate supply is available.
Are other pharmacy chains also contracting with federal government?
Yes, all the major national chains and several regional chains are helping the government administer as many vaccinations as possible. Pharmacies participating in the administration of the vaccine can be found here.
Is getting the COVID-19 vaccine similar to getting a flu vaccine?
Yes, the process will be very similar to receiving a flu vaccine, including scheduling an appointment online at CVS.com or through the CVS app. CVS Health has ample experience in safely administering vaccines, including millions of flu shots every year.
Why is CVS Pharmacy temporarily pausing the administration of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine?
We have implemented a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine per the recommendation from federal health agencies. We continue to offer both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.
What led the CDC and FDA to recommend pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine?
As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 have been administered in the U.S. CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine. In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination.
Are patients being proactively notified that their appointments are being cancelled?
Due to this pause, we are texting all customers who have a scheduled appointment to receive the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 COVID-19 vaccine at CVS Pharmacy to inform them that their appointment is being cancelled. We will follow up with affected customers to reschedule their appointments as soon as possible or they can check for available CVS appointments in their area.
What are the symptoms to be concerned about and what should I do if I experience these symptoms?
According to the CDC, these adverse events “appear to be extremely rare.” If you have received the Janssen vaccine and develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination you should contact your health care provider or seek medical care. Report adverse events following receipt of any COVID-19 vaccine to VAERS.
Long-term care facility vaccine administration FAQs
How is CVS Health working with the CDC to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to residents and staff of long-term care facilities?
CVS Health has partnered with the CDC to be one of the official COVID-19 Vaccination Program Providers in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. More than 40,000 long-term care facilities across the country selected CVS Health to provide COVID-19 vaccines to residents and staff, and CVS Health teams are now administering COVID-19 vaccines at facilities in 49 states and Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
The program provides end-to-end management of the COVID-19 vaccination process, including cold chain management, on-site vaccinations and fulfillment of reporting requirements to facilitate safe vaccination of this critical population, while reducing the burden on facilities and state and local health departments. State officials set the start dates and decide which types of long-term care facilities to activate first, and the number of vaccines we administer will continue to rise as more facilities are activated by the states. We report vaccination figures to state and federal agencies and also make national and state-level figures publicly available online every weekday.
CVS Health staff are familiar with the long-term care setting and population, having regularly operated annual, on-site seasonal flu vaccination clinics at thousands of assisted living facilities and having provided COVID-19 testing services in skilled nursing facilities during 2020.
As of February 2, CVS Health had administered the first round of COVID-19 vaccine doses to nearly 8,000 skilled nursing facilities across the country. Administration of second doses are more than 60 percent complete.
Our dedicated health care professionals are reaching long-term care residents and staff as soon as possible based on activation dates selected by the states, while navigating the challenges of a complex rollout.