Oregon Safeway/Albertsons to start offering COVID-19 vaccinations

MEDFORD, Ore. —All Southern Oregon Albertsons and Safeway pharmacies will soon be able to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.

The company says it has a limited number of doses coming to Oregon.

It says that it expects most of its pharmacies to have the vaccine, as early as next week.

“Our pharmacies have wanted to be able to help and it’s been really a long road for them to get there,” says Jill McGinnis, spokesperson for Safeway and Albertsons.

On Tuesday the Biden administration said it will begin shipments of the Coronavirus vaccines to retail pharmacies next week.

The CDC says in Oregon, those pharmacies include Albertsons, Safeway and Costco.

“We were just really excited we know that we are very accessible across the state, and have excellently trained pharmacists and so we are just glad to be part of the solution,” said McGinnis.

McGinnis says there are 120 Albertsons & Safeway’s in Oregon, all but 20 of them have pharmacies.

“They’ve been actively hiring more people, so they can be ready for when they do start vaccinating in stores, they’ve been out running clinics in the community, fairgrounds and colleges,” says McGinnis.

McGinnis says each pharmacy will get 100 doses each week, until more are available.

Jackson County Medical Director Dr. Jim Shames says while it’s not a lot, he’s glad more help is coming.

“We’re glad to have more partners, pharmacists make complete sense,” says Shames.

Pharmacists and Pharmacy Techs will be give the vaccines and monitor people for up to 15 minutes.

Both Albertsons and Safeway are creating online portals for scheduling appointments.

“The demand is going to be really high and so appointments will be claimed pretty quickly so we are going to really need the public to be patient with us,” says McGinnis.

Dr. Shames hopes more help is coming, as Oregon has a lot of work to do, before things can get back to normal.

“Local smaller pharmacies are also capable of vaccinating, there source of vaccine will need to come from public health, so we are prepared to and planning to push vaccine that comes to us,” says Shames.

The company says you can not  sign up till the vaccines are at each site.

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Jenna King is the 6pm anchor and our Feature Reporter at 10pm and 11pm for NBC5 News. Jenna is a Burbank, CA native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at Oregon she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through her internship with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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