SOUTHERN OREGON, Ore. — Residents looking to get their COVID-19 vaccine through local pharmacies in Southern Oregon will have to wait another week, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention canceled this week's shipment.
After the CDC partnered with several pharmacies across the country, on Feb. 12 Safeway and Albertsons began distributing free COVID-19 vaccines to Oregonians who qualify.
Today, the company announced its weekly shipment would not arrive.
“The CDC informed us this afternoon that they will be canceling all the Federal Pharmacy Partner’s Moderna allocations for this week. They will again resume with Moderna allocations next week," Jill McGinnis, a spokeswoman for Safeway and Albertsons said.
McGinnis noted each Monday the company will receive a confirmation on how many vaccines it will get for that week. This week the confirmation was received today due to the holiday Monday.
She explained when the company begins to receive vaccines again, each location will receive its shipment of vaccines on Thursdays, and then it will open registration for that week.
“While our customers will not be able to secure appointments in our pharmacies this week, and this is disappointing, we are looking forward to being able to begin vaccinating again next week,” McGinnis said.
Qualifying residents need to register online on either the Safeway or Albertson's website.
“If there are appointments available, you’ll actually get an affidavit of sorts that you have to sign that says that you qualify,” she said.
The company will be following the Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 vaccine eligibility guidelines.
Currently, residents who qualify include first responders, long-term care facility employees, educators, and school staff.
Last week, eligibility was opened to Oregonians 80 years old and over. This week residents who are 75 and older qualify to receive their first dose, and next week it will be extended to those 70 and older.
Oregonians 65 and older will be eligible in the first week of March.
“If you are a senior citizen who isn’t comfortable with the computer or doesn’t have internet access, you can have a care provider help or you can call our pharmacies,” she noted.
McGinnis said the only Safeway pharmacy in Southern Oregon which will not receive the vaccines is its location in Myrtle Creek.
As of Tuesday afternoon, there are no appointments available at Safeway or Albertson's in the Rogue Valley for the current week.