CVS, Walgreens await guidance on COVID-19 booster shots

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Major pharmacies across the nation are confident they can administer and "accelerate access" to COVID-19 booster shots after they receive further guidance from federal health officials. 

A plan outlined by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other top authorities calls for an extra dose eight months after people get their second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. The doses could begin the week of Sept. 20.

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A CVS spokesperson told FOX Business it is "fully prepared to play a leading role in providing booster shots" once it gets guidance from the regulatory agencies.

CVS has already administered over 30 million COVID-19 vaccines nationwide "and immediately began offering third doses to immunocompromised individuals when authorized to do so," the spokesperson added. 

A Miami Beach, Florida Walgreens check-out cashier on May 28, 2020. (Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Walgreens said that although vaccine booster shots are not currently available in its stores, the company plans to "continue to follow guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to administer vaccines to eligible populations" while it waits for further guidance. 

Walgreens said it feels confident in its "pharmacy expertise, infrastructure and local community presence to accelerate access to these vaccinations." 

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Officials said the vaccines’ protection against infection wanes over time, which is particularly concerning due to the fact that the contagious delta variant is spreading rapidly.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
CVSCVS HEALTH CORP.84.59-1.88-2.17%
WBAWALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE, INC.49.02-0.12-0.24%

"Our plan is to protect the American people, to stay ahead of this virus," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.

Health officials said people who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will also probably need extra shots. But they said they are waiting for more data.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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