COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Am I able to get the COVID-19 vaccine at ShopRite Pharmacy?
A for NJ stores. ShopRite is proud to partner with the state of New Jersey, 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 in New Jersey for the priority populations determined by the 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: Due to overwhelming demand, all available appointment slots are currently booked. We will open new appointment slots as soon as we receive additional vaccine supply. If you are unable to schedule an appointment immediately, please try again at a later date. Thank you for your continued patience and support as we work to fight this pandemic together.

A for NY stores. ShopRite is proud to partner with the state of New York, 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 ShopRites for the priority populations determined by the state’s Department of Health. We are currently working with the state to expand the vaccine program to additional stores in the coming weeks. Please visit vaccines (dot) shoprite (dot) com to check for availability and updates.

Please note: Due to overwhelming demand, all available appointment slots are currently booked. We will open new appointment slots as soon as we receive additional vaccine supply. If you are unable to schedule an appointment immediately, please try again at a later date. Thank you for your continued patience and support as we work to fight this pandemic together.

A for PA stores. ShopRite is proud to partner with the state of 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 ShopRites for the priority populations determined by the state’s Department of Health. We are currently working with the state to expand the vaccine program to additional stores in the coming weeks. Please visit vaccines (dot) shoprite (dot) com to check for availability and updates.

Note for Philadelphia stores. Philadelphia is administering its own vaccine program. The vaccine—currently available in Philadelphia at the ShopRites of Aramingo Avenue, Bridge & Harbison and Morrell Plaza—with availability limited to individuals aged 75 and above.

Please note: Due to overwhelming demand, all available appointment slots are currently booked. We will open new appointment slots as soon as we receive additional vaccine supply from the state. If you are unable to schedule an appointment immediately, please try again at a later date. Thank you for your continued patience and support as we work to fight this pandemic together.

A for stores in other states: ShopRite has joined a partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to ensure Americans have access to the COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available to the public. Under this program, ShopRite Pharmacy will have the opportunity to support the critical effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by providing increased access to COVID-19 vaccines in the communities we serve. 

Q. Will ShopRite Pharmacies in states other than New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania 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, only New Jersey and New York have authorized us to do so. We eagerly await authorization from additional states and will update our Pharmacies accordingly.

Q. Which authorized vaccine will I be able to get at ShopRite Pharmacy?
A:
As of December 20, 2020, vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna have received emergency-use authorization by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). An initial shipment of the Moderna vaccine—administered in two doses, given a month apart—has been shipped to select ShopRite Pharmacy locations in New Jersey and the ShopRite of Pearl River in New York, which are currently administering vaccines to the priority populations as determined by the states’ Departments of Health. 

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 public is reported to gain access by the spring or summer.

New Jersey
As of January 22, 2021, the following priority populations are currently eligible for vaccination in the state of New Jersey:

  • Health-care personnel
  • Long-term care residents and staff
  • First responders
  • Individuals aged 65 and older
  • Individuals aged 18*-64 with chronic conditions that place them at high risk (click for specifics)

New York
As of January 18, 2021, retail pharmacies in New York State have been authorized to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to the following:

  • Individuals aged 65 and older
  • 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: 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 January 22, 2021, the following priority populations are currently eligible for vaccination in the state of Pennsylvania:

  • Health-care personnel
  • Long-term care residents and staff
  • Individuals aged 65 and older
  • Individuals aged 18*-64 with chronic conditions that place them at high risk (click for specifics)

Philadelphia
As of February 2, 2021, retail pharmacies in Philadelphia have been authorized to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to the following: 

  • Individuals aged 75 and older

Though Philadelphia has identified additional priority populations, our Pharmacy is limited to administering vaccinations only to the group identified above. 

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.

*We are not permitted to administer the COVID vaccine to individuals younger than 18.

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 is administered in two doses given a month apart, so an initial appointment and a follow-up are necessary.) 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: Due to overwhelming demand, all available appointment slots are currently booked. We will open new appointment slots as soon as we receive additional vaccine supply from the state. If you are unable to schedule an appointment immediately, please try again at a later date. 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.

Q. My pharmacy canceled my [first-dose/second-dose] vaccine appointment. Why and when can I reschedule?
A.
Winter weather and state allocations may have affected this week’s vaccine delivery. In this case:

  • For canceled first-dose appointments: We must use our current 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.
  • For canceled second-dose appointments: 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. I have to reschedule my second 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 the vaccine is safe and effective, and that the American people should have great confidence in the vaccine. 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 Moderna’s 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. 

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 the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is 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 vaccine available at our Pharmacies does not require a deep-freeze, just a standard freezer with which all our locations are equipped.

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 2/18/21