Vaccine appointment availability hit-or-miss

Getting a COVID-19 vaccination appointment at one of the vaccination sites provided by area pharmacies seems to be a hit-or-miss proposition at this time, based on periodic examinations of those pharmacy websites.

Appointment slots open, remain open for a while, then fill up, leaving no slots available until pharmacies receive their next vaccine shipments.

Several days ago, several sites had appointments available, then several hours later, they didn’t — but the next day, some of them did.

Early Thursday evening, Mainline Pharmacy of Ebensburg had appointments available for Tuesday at its mass vaccination site at the Jaffa Shrine Center; CVS Altoona was fully booked; Giant Eagle in Logan Towne Center had openings starting April 8; Weis Market had no appointments available for the coming week; Walmart had appointments available at its Plank Road Commons and Leamersville locations; and Rite Aid had no appointments available at its Hollidaysburg and Tyrone locations.

“Demand heavily outweighs supply,” said Rite Aid spokesman Chris Savarese. The slots fill up quickly, he said. Rite Aid is receiving doses to be administered in 1,200 stores in 14 states through a federal retail pharmacy partnership, Savarese said.

All appointments are made online, he said. Store employees cannot make appointments or even answer questions about COVID-19 vaccinations, Savarese said.

CVS is taking appointments as supplies become available, company spokeswoman Tara Burke said. The company plans to open additional locations as supplies increase, she said.

It behooves people who want to get vaccinated to “continually check,” she said.

CVS is also part of the federal retail pharmacy partnership, which is not the same partnership in which CVS and Walgreens participated to supply vaccinations at long-term care facilities, Burke said.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 814-949-7038.


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