H-E-B gearing up to distribute COVID-19 vaccines

Grocery chain one of many partnering up with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to administer vaccine

H-E-B store at 20725 TX-46 in Spring Branch. (Google Maps)

For many Texans, the road to a COVID-19 vaccine may pass through H-E-B.

The San Antonio-based grocery chain is one of many that are participating in a federal allocation program for COVID-19 vaccines established in a partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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H-E-B officials have not said when they are expecting to receive shipments of the vaccine, but Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that the state will receive its first shipment of 1.4 million COVID-19 vaccines later this month.

Before making the vaccines available to the general public, the first doses are likely reserved for pharmacy workers and staff members who have greater exposure to COVID-19, as H-E-B officials said they will follow the distribution plans of federal and state governments.

H-E-B officials released the following statement about the plans to administer the vaccine:

“At H-E-B, the health and safety of Texans is our top priority. Our H-E-B Pharmacy teams will play a vital role in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic via our partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the State of Texas. Once the government schedules distribution for the general public, our H-E-B Pharmacies will offer the COVID-19 vaccine. Already a trusted source for all routine childhood and adult immunizations, including the administration of flu shots, we remain committed to taking care of Texans.”

Experts believe pharmacies will begin making COVID-19 vaccines publicly available by sometime next spring.

In addition to H-E-B, Costco, CVS, Walgreens and Walmart are among other chain and community-pharmacy networks in San Antonio that have partnered with HHS to administer the vaccine.

While the vaccine is promising news, experts recommend maintaining social distancing guidelines and wearing a mask until most people get vaccinated.

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