Tech glitches, limited supply affect pharmacy vaccine program

Under a new federal program, several pharmacy chains — including CVS Health, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Costco Pharmacy — are offering COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible people at hundreds of stores in several states — including New YorkNew Jersey, and Connecticut — starting this week.

The federal government is supplying certain pharmacies around the country with COVID-19 vaccine doses. But that supply is limited — and appointments at many of these pharmacies were hard to come by.

CVS Health planned to launch on Feb. 11 with an initial 250,000 doses through the federal government but had to push back the launch to Feb. 12 "to ensure in-store availability," the company said. Also, some customers trying to book appointments online reported being prompted to register for appointments out of state.

"We are aware of this scheduling issue and are in the process of resolving it," CVS said in a statement. "We are committed to following state eligibility requirements for vaccinations and we apologize for any inconvenience."

The Walgreens online booking portal was also reportedly overwhelmed and crashed. Walgreens said it has resolved glitches in its registration system.

Uber and Walgreens offering free rides to vaccine appointments in underserved communities

The CDC chose certain pharmacy chains because their presence in areas ranked high or very high in CDC's Social Vulnerability Index, which identifies communities based on more than a dozen social factors, including poverty, lack of access to transportation, and crowded housing.

To get vaccinated at a CVS location, you will have to make an appointment on, or via the CVS Pharmacy mobile app, or by phone at 800-746-7287. 

Walgreens vaccination appointments can be made on after creating an account.

Vaccination appointments at Rite Aid and Costco locations are available through your state or local vaccine program.

With The Associated Press