COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Am I able to get the COVID-19 vaccine at ShopRite Pharmacy?
A. ShopRite is proud to partner with the states of Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to administer the COVID-19 vaccination in accordance with the CDC’s phased approach for vaccine distribution. The vaccine is currently available at select ShopRite Pharmacies throughout our trading area for the priority populations determined by each state’s Department of Health. Due to overwhelming demand, vaccinations must be scheduled in advance. Visit vaccines (dot) shoprite (dot) com to check for availability. 

Please note: COVID vaccine appointments open up based on the vaccine supply our locations receive. Due to overwhelming demand, slots fill up quickly. If you are unable to schedule an appointment immediately, please try again later. Thank you for your continued patience and support as we work to fight this pandemic together.

Q. Will ShopRite Pharmacies in all states receive the vaccine?
A.
It’s important to note that individual states are managing separate vaccine initiatives. ShopRite has expressed a desire to participate in these vital programs in all states in which we trade. To date, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania have authorized us to do so. We eagerly await authorization from Delaware and will update our Pharmacies accordingly.

Q. Which authorized vaccine will I be able to get at ShopRite Pharmacy?
A.
As of March 2, 2021, vaccines manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen have received emergency-use authorization by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are mRNA vaccines administered in two doses, given either 28 days apart (Moderna) or 21 days apart (Pfizer). The Janssen vaccine, commonly known as Johnson & Johnson, is a viral vector vaccine that necessitates only one dose. All three vaccines are considered highly efficacious by the Centers for Disease Control.

Click for details on the vaccines:

The type of vaccine administered at a given ShopRite Pharmacy is dependent on location and supply. 

Q. What populations are currently able to receive the vaccination?
A. Individual state Departments of Health have identified the priority populations currently eligible for vaccination. This information is subject to change fluidly. 

The general adult public is reported to gain access by April 19.

Connecticut

As of April 1, 2021, the following individuals are eligible for vaccination in the state of Connecticut:

  • Individuals aged 16+ and older who live, work or study in Connecticut
    • Note: Individuals younger than 18 are eligible to receive only the Pfizer vaccination, where available. A parent or guardian must be present and complete all necessary forms and attestations on behalf of the minor. 

Maryland

As of April 1, 2021, the following priority populations are eligible for vaccination in the state of Maryland:

    • Adults age 60 and older
    • All licensed, registered and certified health care providers
    • Front line hospital staff
    • Nursing home residents and staff
    • Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
    • Assisted living, independent living, behavioral health and developmentally disabled group homes, and other congregate facilities
    • Law enforcement and firefighters, EMS
    • Education staff, including K-12 teachers, support staff and daycare providers
    • Correctional health care staff and officers
    • Public safety workers not covered in Phase 1A
    • Health care workers not covered in Phase 1A, including but not limited to lab services, public health, vaccine manufacturing and other health care professions
    • Front line judiciary staff
    • Continuity of government
    • Food/agriculture production, critical manufacturing, U.S. Postal Service, public mass transit, grocery store employees
    • Veterinarians and support staff
    • Clergy and other essential support for houses of worship
    • Individuals who are currently receiving hospital-based treatment, including in hospital outpatient centers, AND diagnosed with at least one of the following conditions:
    • Cancer patients who are currently in active treatment
    • End stage renal disease patients requiring hemodialysis
    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
    • Solid organ transplant recipients
    • Sickle cell disease patients
    • Diabetic patients (Type 1 and Type 2)
    • Individuals ages 18+ with underlying medical conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19 illness
    • Individuals ages 18+ with disabilities who are receiving SSI or SSDI benefits
    • Individuals participating in Maryland Medicaid EID
    • Maryland Medicaid REM recipients
    • Individuals receiving TDAP benefits
    • Individuals receiving long term services and supports through Maryland’s Medicaid waiver and state plan services (learn more)

New Jersey 

As of April 5, 2021, the following priority populations are currently eligible for vaccination in the state of New Jersey:

    • Individuals aged 55+
    • Individuals aged 16-54 with certain medical conditions
    • Individuals age 16-54 with intellectual and developmental disabilities
    • Childcare workers in licensed and registered settings
    • Clergy
    • Communications, IT and media workers
    • Educators and staff, including pre-K to 12 and higher education
    • Eldercare and support workers
    • Elections personnel
    • First responders
    • Healthcare workers
    • Hospitality workers
    • Individuals experiencing homelessness and those living in shelters
    • Judicial system workers
    • Laundry services workers
    • Librarians and library-support staff
    • Long-term care and high-risk congregate care facility residents and staff
    • Medical supply-chain employees
    • Members of tribal communities
    • Migrant farm workers
    • Postal and shipping-service workers
    • Public-safety workers
    • Real estate, building and home-services workers
    • Retail financial institution workers
    • Sanitation workers
    • Social-service workers and support staff
    • Transportation workers
    • Utilities workers
    • Warehousing and logistics workers

New York

As of April 6, 2021, retail pharmacies in New York State have been authorized to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to the following: 

    • Individuals aged 18* and older
    • K-12 teachers/faculty/staff 
    • Childcare workers
    • Our own Pharmacy team

Though New York State has identified additional priority populations, our Pharmacy is limited to administering vaccinations only to the groups identified above. 

IMPORTANT: Reminder: New York State requires all individuals vaccinated at New York pharmacies to be residents of New York. New York residents must complete the New York State COVID Vaccine Form at http://vaccineform.health.ny.gov and receive a confirmation in order to receive the vaccination. Bring this confirmation to the vaccine appointment as proof of eligibility, either as a printout or shown on a smartphone.

Pennsylvania

As of April 5, 2021, the following priority populations are currently eligible for vaccination in the state of Pennsylvania, outside of the city of Philadelphia:

    • Individuals aged 65 and older
    • Individuals aged 18*-64 with chronic conditions that place them at high risk (click for specifics)
    • Health-care personnel
    • Long-term care residents and staff
    • People in congregate settings not otherwise specified as long-term care facilities, and persons receiving home and community-based services 
    • First responders 
    • Correctional officers and other workers serving people in congregate care settings not included in Phase 1A
    • Food and agricultural workers
    • U.S. Postal Service workers
    • Manufacturing workers
    • Grocery store workers
    • Education workers
    • Clergy and other essential support for houses of worship
    • Public transit workers
    • Individuals caring for children or adults in early childhood and adult day programs

Philadelphia

As of April 19, 2021, retail pharmacies in Philadelphia have been authorized to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to the following. Note: Philadelphia requires all individuals vaccinated at Philadelphia pharmacies to reside within city limits:

    • Individuals aged 65 and older
    • Educators
    • Sanitation workers 
    • Maintenance and janitorial staff
    • Utility workers
    • Postal and package delivery worker
    • Police, paramedics/EMTs and firefighters
    • Service providers required to do home visits or visits to high-risk congregate settings, staff at senior centers/day programs for seniors and those with intellectual disabilities
    • Public Transit
    • Food distribution, prep, or service workers
    • Frontline child or public facing staff of childcare, K-12 schools, libraries and recreation centers. Includes custodians and food preparation staff
    • Public facing staff of high-volume retail settings
    • Factory/manufacturing workers whose work conditions require them to be present in person at sites with 20 or more people per room and/or those not able to consistently maintain 6 feet of distance and masking while at work
    • Clergy
    • People who have certain high-risk medical conditions.
    • People with intellectual disabilities

As of Monday, April 12, 2021:

    • Higher education staff
    • Finance: public facing, non-remote positions in the finance industry
    • Transportation workers such as airport and train workers and taxi or rideshare drivers
    • Construction workers
    • IT & telecommunications workers
    • Members of the press
    • Legal industry
    • Public health workers

NOTE: Vaccination phases are tentative and subject to change. The movement between vaccination eligibility phases may be fluid. One phase may overlap with another. Not all individuals in each phase will be vaccinated before opening to additional groups, and not all groups within a specific phase will be made eligible to receive the vaccine at the same time.

*Note: Individuals younger than 18 are eligible to receive only the Pfizer vaccination, where available. A parent or guardian must be present and complete all necessary forms and attestations on behalf of the minor. 

Q. What is the process for receiving a vaccine when I am eligible to do so? Should I just drop by the Pharmacy or can I make an appointment?
A. Please do not drop by or call the Pharmacy. Instead, visit our COVID-19 vaccine scheduler, available both online at vaccines.ShopRite.com and via the ShopRite Pharmacy app (available via both the Apple and Google Play stores). 

Through the scheduler, customers must currently provide a work ID or driver’s license as proof that they are eligible to receive the vaccine. They then select their Pharmacy location and make an initial appointment to receive the vaccine. (The Moderna vaccine and Pfizer vaccine are administered in two doses given 28 days and 21 days apart, respectively, so an initial appointment and a follow-up are necessary. The Janssen vaccine requires only one appointment.) Customers will receive an email confirmation and instructions when the Pharmacy accepts the initial appointment. IMPORTANT NOTE: Please make sure that you schedule both appointments (first and second dose) at the SAME ShopRite Pharmacy location.

Please note: ShopRite Pharmacy is currently booking COVID vaccine appointments. Appointments open up based on the vaccine supply our locations receive. Due to overwhelming demand, slots fill up quickly.

If you are unable to schedule an appointment immediately, please try again later. Thank you for your continued patience and support as we work to fight this pandemic together.

Q. Why do other stores, like CVS and Rite Aid, have vaccine available and ShopRite doesn’t?
A.
As the federal government makes more vaccine supply available, states can choose where to send those doses.  The state is continually bringing on new locations to serve broad sections of the population. ShopRite will continue to receive additional doses, but we understand that there is a need to spread out the vaccine sites across the state. This is a fluid situation and we continue to work with our federal and state partners to increase supply and add more ShopRite pharmacies to the distribution plan.

Q. I’m from out-of-state. Can I still get vaccinated at one of the pharmacies that currently has the vaccine?
A. Guidelines vary, as vaccination programs are being administered on a state-by-state basis. 

NJ: Available vaccine is intended for those who live, work or are being educated in New Jersey.

NY: Only New York residents are eligible to be vaccinated in New York. Residents must complete the New York State COVID Vaccine Form at http://vaccineform.health.ny.gov and receive a confirmation in order to receive the vaccination. Bring this confirmation to the vaccine appointment as proof of eligibility, either as a printout or shown on a smartphone.

PA: Available vaccine is intended for those who live in Pennsylvania. In Philadelphia, only individuals who reside within city limits are eligible for vaccination at Philadelphia pharmacies.

Q. My pharmacy canceled my [first-dose/second-dose] vaccine appointment. Why and when can I reschedule?
A. For canceled first-dose appointments:
We must use our current Moderna/Pfizer vaccine supply to administer second doses to customers who have already received their first dose, completing their vaccine series within the time frame recommended by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control. To that end, we must regretfully reschedule first-dose appointments until our supply is replenished by the state. Our Pharmacy team has placed you on a priority list and will contact you with a new appointment date and time. Thank you for your patience as we await new vaccine supply.

A. For canceled second-dose appointments: Appointments that are postponed due to vaccine availability will be rescheduled in an effort to administer the Moderna second dose as close to your originally scheduled appointment as possible. Health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization have provided guidance in extending the interval between doses in situations exceeding the 28-day window for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. We continue to work with federal and state agencies in an effort to prioritize second doses that are due, so that we may adhere to the recommended vaccine protocols and ensure vaccine efficacy. Thank you for your patience as we await new vaccine supply.

Q. I have to reschedule my second Moderna vaccine dose. What’s my time frame?
A.
Appointments that are postponed due to vaccine availability will be rescheduled in an effort to administer the second dose as close to your originally scheduled appointment as possible. Health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization have provided guidance in extending the interval between doses in situations exceeding the 28-day window for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. We continue to work with federal and state agencies in an effort to prioritize second doses that are due, so that we may adhere to the recommended vaccine protocols and ensure vaccine efficacy. Thank you for your patience as we await new vaccine supply.

Q. Does insurance cover the vaccine costs?
A. 
Patients do not incur an out-of-pocket cost for the vaccine. The provider receives an administration fee either through billing the patient’s insurance or through a government-paid plan yet to be defined. Note that healthcare coverage can vary by plan. 

Q. Is the vaccine safe?
A.
According to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the pharmacy profession has a high degree of confidence that the FDA has taken extraordinary care to ensure that all approved vaccines are safe and effective, and that the American people should have great confidence in them. The vast majority of pharmacists have indicated in recent surveys that they intend to be vaccinated themselves and plan to recommend the vaccine to their patients. 

If you have specific questions or concerns about the COVID vaccine, speak with your physician or pharmacist.

Q. I read that some people have reactions to the vaccine. What should I do if I experience side effects?
A.
The side effects associated with the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are akin to those associated with other vaccinations (like the flu vaccine) and can include pain or swelling at the injection site, fatigue, headache, chills, fever and nausea/vomiting. 

The side effects associated with Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine include pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue, muscle aches and nausea. 

According to CDC guidelines, our pharmacy team monitors vaccine recipients post-vaccination for 15 minutes. Individuals with a history of an immediate allergic reaction of any severity to a vaccine or injectable therapy or those with a history of anaphylaxis are observed for 30 minutes. 

We recommend that vaccine recipients download the CDC’s V-Safe mobile app to track and report symptoms should they occur after the monitoring period. 

Note that all three COVID-19 vaccines are still being studied in clinical trials. Because of the potential, however unlikely, risk for more serious side effects, vaccine recipients should call 911 or seek immediate medical help if they experience any effects about which they are unsure.

Q. I read that people who aren’t yet eligible are receiving leftover doses. Can I get my vaccine that way?
A. If there are occasionally leftover doses at the end of the day, we will ensure that they do not go to waste and will administer them—likely to someone who is in the next eligible priority phase. This is an infrequent occurrence and should not be considered a viable way to receive the vaccine. We ask that you please wait to schedule an appointment until you are eligible to do so. Thank you for your continued patience and support as we work to fight this pandemic together.

Q. I read that the vaccine needs to be kept at extremely cold temperatures. Does the Pharmacy have the correct equipment?
A. The Moderna and Janssen vaccines available at our Pharmacies do not require the deep-freeze storage condition defined as “ultra-cold.” The Moderna vaccine requires storage in a standard freezer, and the Janssen vaccine requires storage in a standard freezer, with which all our locations are equipped and are continuously monitored for temperature compliance. The Pfizer vaccine may be stored in a standard freezer for up to two weeks.

Q. What else is ShopRite doing to help safeguard the community from COVID-19?
A. ShopRite has been working throughout the pandemic to ensure that communities have access to fresh foods and necessities. ShopRite stores have adopted recommended safety precautions to keep its associates and shoppers safe, including mask mandates, plexiglass panels, staff temperature checks and limiting the number of customers in-store

Posted 4/12/21