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Once available Food City Pharmacy to offer free COVID-19 vaccine

ABINGDON, Va. — Food City Pharmacy is partnering with the Department of Health & Human Services to offer free COVID-19 vaccinations once the vaccine is approved and available to the general public.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our team of Supermarket Heroes has gone above and beyond the call of duty to meet the needs of our customers and the communities we serve. From the extraordinary efforts of our front-line associates to those working behind the scenes, this has truly been a team effort and we’re proud to have the opportunity to partner with HHS to offer free COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes readily available,” says Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer. 
Once an adequate supply of COVID-19 vaccine is available to support broader vaccination efforts beyond the initial critical populations, it will be important to swiftly increase access to the vaccine for the general population. HHS is partnering with pharmacies like Food City to increase access to COVID-19 vaccine for the U.S. population. Through the Federal Pharmacy Partnership Strategy for COVID-19 Vaccination, federal pharmacy partners will receive a direct allocation of COVID-19 vaccine. 
Pharmacists are trained to administer vaccines and are trusted vaccinators within their respective communities, as they provide seasonal flu and other routine vaccines as part of their established services. With more than 90% of the population living within five miles of a pharmacy, pharmacists can be a crucial public health partner, offering convenience and increasing access to COVID-19 vaccine.
“Food City’s immunizing pharmacists are certified to administer vaccinations in accordance with the standards set forth by the American Pharmacists Association and the corresponding state pharmacy associations. Food City offers a number of affordable preventative immunizations, including seasonal flu, pneumonia and shingles shots and has done so for over a decade,” says Mickey Blazer, Food City executive vice president of pharmacy operations. 
COVID-19 vaccine will be administered at partners’ pharmacy locations like Food City at no cost to recipients. These pharmacy partners have widespread reach and operational capacity to support large-scale vaccination efforts in their communities. Providing vaccines directly to jurisdictions and pharmacies will allow the federal government to quickly and efficiently get the vaccines to millions of people. States, pharmacies, and the CDC will streamline and optimize efforts by working closely to coordinate, track, and monitor distribution. The CDC has engaged pharmacies and pharmacy professional organizations in pandemic vaccine planning over the last 10 years. 
Food City Pharmacy will be following CDC vaccination guidelines to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, including guidance to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Once available, customers interested in receiving a COVID-19 vaccination should visit foodcity.com for additional details.    
Headquartered in Abingdon, Va., K-VA-T Food Stores (Food City’s parent company) operates 134 retail outlets (including 110 pharmacies) throughout southeast Kentucky, southwest Virginia, east Tennessee, Chattanooga and north Georgia.

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