COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout and Distribution

Updated: March 26, 2021

On December 11, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization for two COVID-19 vaccines—from Pfizer and Moderna; a third vaccine, from Johnson & Johnson, was recently approved as well. Though phased rollout of the vaccines is currently underway, limited supply and shifting distribution continue to present challenges. In response, vaccine manufacturers are working to increase production so that additional vaccine can be expected by spring or early summer to fully meet demand. Distribution is expected to improve with the increased supply.

Each state has been tasked with developing its own vaccine distribution protocols, leading to a patchwork of procedures that vary widely depending on location. However, with the forthcoming increase in vaccine supply, it is expected that the U.S. will begin vaccinating the general public beginning in May 2021, with the goal of inoculating most Americans by June or July.

To ensure nationwide accessibility to vaccination sites, the government has partnered with several national pharmacy chains to launch the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. Under the program, select retail pharmacies are serving as vaccination sites for eligible individuals in their areas. Pharmacy participation varies by state and includes a number of national networks including CVS, Walgreen’s, WalMart, Publix, Rite Aid, Albertsons and many others. For a list of participating pharmacies in your state, refer to the Resources listing at the bottom of this page.

It is important to continue following CDC guidelines for protecting yourself and slowing the spread of COVID-19: Wear a mask to protect yourself and others; wash your hands frequently; stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from others who don’t live with you, and avoid crowds.

The DGA-Producer Health Plan continues to monitor the situation and will provide updates on and in future Spotlight on Benefits newsletters as new information becomes available. You are also encouraged to consult your state or county department of public health for the most up-to-date information in your area. Refer to the list of resources below for links to vaccine-related information.