How to get a COVID booster shot at CVS, Walgreens or Rite Aid

CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens and Rite Aid are all offering COVID-19 booster shots since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded eligibility for COVID booster shots last week.

Here is how to get one if you meet the eligibility criteria.

Check your eligibility

Although the CDC has expanded eligibility for COVID booster shots and there are now booster recommendations for all three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S., you should still check to see if you are eligible to receive one.

Here are the following criteria, according to the CDC, that would make one eligible to receive a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 booster shot six months after the second dose of a two-dose series:

  • 65 years and older
  • Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
  • Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions (ex: cancer, cerebrovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, COPD, diabetes, heart conditions, obesity, pregnancy or recent pregnancy, or if you are a current or former smoker)
  • Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings (ex: health care workers, caregivers for immunocompromised individuals, individuals in prisons or jails, people living in homeless shelters, etc.)

If you received the one-shot Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC recommends that anyone ages 18 and older who received the vaccine two or more months ago should get a J&J COVID-19 booster shot.

Rite Aid said on its website that it would also be offering additional, fourth doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to severely immunocompromised individuals 28 days after the last dose to the following individuals:

  • Had a solid organ transplant or recent hematopoietic malignancies
  • Active or recent treatment for solid tumor hematologic malignancies (cancer)
  • Severe primary immunodeficiency
  • Advanced or untreated HIV
  • Active treatment with high dose corticosteroids, alkylating agents, antimetabolites, TNF blockers, and other biologic agents
  • Asplenia and chronic renal disease can be considered if condition is severe

Make an appointment at the pharmacy

Individuals interested in making appointments at CVS, at Walgreens, or at Rite Aid are strongly encouraged to make them online on the pharmacies’ respective websites.

Walgreens also said on its website that you can you can call your local pharmacy or 1-800-Walgreens to make an appointment.

Rite Aid also said on its website that walk-in appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis in addition to appointments scheduled online.

Each participating CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic is offering either the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine but not all three at the same time. So it is advisable to check with your local pharmacy about availability.

For CVS, patients will be asked to provide the date and the manufacturer of their last COVID shot and eligibility before making an appointment.

Walgreens has a similar process, where individuals will be able to see which pharmacies offer certain vaccines on certain appointment dates.

Vaccine availability varies by location at Walgreens, and not all may be available in certain areas, so it is advised to check with your local pharmacy online ahead of time.

Related stories about COVID-19:

Should I mix-and-match COVID vaccines? What to know about the newly approved boosters

COVID breakthrough cases: What to know about symptoms, length, quarantine, long-term effects

The side effects to look out for if you get a COVID booster shot

Vaccination schedule for children: When can kids under 12 get the COVID vaccine?

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