COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Am I able to get the COVID-19 vaccine at ShopRite Pharmacy?

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 general adult population. 

Effective April 23, 2021, following a temporary pause allowing the regulatory agencies to review safety data, ShopRite Pharmacies have followed CDC and FDA guidance to resume administration of the Janssen (J&J Vaccine).  

The CDC and FDA have reported that the vaccine is considered safe and effective with a high benefit-to-risk ratio. It has, however, issued a warning for women younger than 50 who should be aware of the rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination with the Janssen (J&J) Vaccine. Other COVID-19 vaccines are available where this risk is of concern.

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.

Effective April 23, 2021, following a temporary pause allowing the regulatory agencies to review safety data, ShopRite Pharmacies have followed CDC and FDA guidance to resume administration of the Janssen (J&J Vaccine).  

The CDC and FDA have reported that the vaccine is considered safe and effective with a high benefit-to-risk ratio. It has, however, issued a warning for women younger than 50 who should be aware of the rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination with the Janssen (J&J) Vaccine. Other COVID-19 vaccines are available where this risk is of concern.

Click for details on the vaccines:

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

Please note: Individuals younger than 18 are eligible to receive only the Pfizer vaccine, where available, and will require a parent or guardian to provide consent to receive the vaccine. Click here for information from the CDC about COVID-19 vaccines for 12- to 15-year-olds.

Q. What populations are currently able to receive the vaccination?
A.
As of May 12, 2021, the general adult public (aged 16* and up) and children/teens aged 12-15 are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. 

Please note: Individuals younger than 18 are eligible to receive only the Pfizer vaccine, where available, and will require a parent or guardian to provide consent to receive the vaccine. Click here for information from the CDC about COVID-19 vaccines for 12- to 15-year-olds.

Q. What is the process for receiving a vaccine? Should I just drop by the Pharmacy or can I make an appointment?
A.
All ShopRite Pharmacy locations administering COVID-19 vaccines accept scheduled appointments and many accept walk-in appointments.

To schedule an appointment, visit our COVID-19 vaccine scheduler, accessible both online at vaccines.ShopRite.com and via the ShopRite Pharmacy app (available on the Apple and Google Play stores). Use the scheduler to book appointments by vaccine type and zip code. Appointments open up based on the vaccine supply our locations receive. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are selecting either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, please make sure that you schedule both appointments (first and second dose) at the SAME ShopRite Pharmacy location.

To find out whether your ShopRite location accepts walk-in appointments, check or message your store’s local Facebook page for updates. (Search “ShopRite of [type your location]” on your Facebook home page.)

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, but a residency requirement is in place in all states we practice except for Maryland.  In addition to the residency requirement, 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.

(For a complete summary in addition to the above, please refer to the chart below)

AGE ELIGIBILITY: INDIVIDUALS 16+ YRS OF AGE ARE NOW ELIGIBLE IN ALL JURISDICTIONS WITHIN OUR TRADING AREA. SEE SPECIAL INFORMATION BELOW.

JURISDICTION RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT (DEFINED OR IMPLIED) NOTES
CONNECTICUT YES (Defined) From the Connecticut State Website:

“Beginning April 1st, [2021] , all individuals 16 years of age and older who live, work, or attend school in Connecticut [have been] eligible to receive vaccine.”

MARYLAND NO (Defined) From Maryland’s CovidLink.Maryland.gov

While we are not turning anyone away (if eligible), we are certainly prioritizing Maryland residents for vaccine administration. Any individual may receive a vaccine at any time, provided that they are eligible and an appointment is available at a vaccine clinic. A COVID-19 vaccine administration site may establish additional appointment requirements or other restrictions necessary for the management of individuals and administration of the vaccine.”

NEW JERSEY YES (Defined) From Covid19.NJ.gov:

“New Jersey is rolling out COVID-19 vaccines step-by-step to serve all...who live, work, or study in the state.”

NEW YORK YES (Defined) From the Health Department of NY State Website:

New Yorkers age 16 and older are eligible to receive the vaccine.”

NEW YORK CITY YES (Defined) From NYC’s www1.NYC.gov:

All New Yorkers 16 years of age and older are now eligible to be vaccinated. People who work or study in New York are also eligible.”

PENNSYLVANIA YES (Implied) From www.PA.gov:

All Pennsylvanians are eligible to be vaccinated.” Although Pennsylvania also goes on to include a statement acknowledging that “individuals can get the vaccine outside of [their] home state.” We’ll assume that at best residency is intended and impied, with reasonable work and study exceptions to be allowed.

PHILADELPHIA YES (Defined) From the 4/16/2021 Board of Health Notification:

“…every Philadelphian over the age of 16 is eligible to set an appointment or go to a clinic that has walk-ups and get vaccinated…Just show that you’re a Philadelphia resident and you’re set.”

Q. My pharmacy canceled my [first-dose/second-dose] vaccine appointment. Why and when can I reschedule?
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.

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. I received a first vaccine dose at another location. Can I get my second dose at a ShopRite Pharmacy?
A. Whenever possible, you should receive your second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine at the location at which you received your first dose, as that is where your second dose was shipped. In the rare instance that you received your first dose as a hospital in-patient or at a location that is no longer offering vaccines, call our Pharmacy directly for scheduling guidance. 

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 theNational 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. 

Effective April 23, 2021, following a temporary pause allowing the regulatory agencies to review safety data, ShopRite Pharmacies have followed CDC and FDA guidance to resume administration of the Janssen (J&J Vaccine).  

The CDC and FDA have reported that the vaccine is considered safe and effective with a high benefit-to-risk ratio. It has, however, issued a warning for women younger than 50 who should be aware of the rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination with the Janssen (J&J) Vaccine. Other COVID-19 vaccines are available where this risk is of concern.

If this risk is a concern to any individual contemplating receiving a COVID vaccine, please note that many ShopRite locations are prepared to administer all three vaccine types currently approved for use and can decide which one to receive.

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, and while the CDC and FDA have reported that the vaccine is considered safe and effective with a high benefit to risk ratio.  It has, however, issued a warning for women younger than 50 years who should be aware of the rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination with the Janssen (J&J) Vaccine, and that other COVID-19 vaccines are available where this risk is of concern.

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 5/17/21