MPA | Pharmacy News

Federal health officials said on Tuesday that they were directing nearly all drugstores and grocery-store pharmacies to offer second doses of Covid-19 vaccines to people who received their first shot from a different provider.

Growing numbers of Americans who received a first shot of the two-dose Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna vaccine are not getting their second shots, in part because of challenges with access. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 5 million people, or nearly 8 percent of those who were partially vaccinated, have missed getting their second dose.

Though that is not a high rate compared with those seen for multidose vaccines against other conditions, some states have been taking steps to prevent it from rising.

The new federal directive is aimed especially at encouraging college students who got their first shots on or near campus to get their second doses at home, according to Andy Slavitt, the White House’s senior adviser for Covid-19 response. To accomplish that, he said, pharmacies participating in a federal vaccine distribution program will set aside any residency requirements for vaccine recipients.

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