LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Seniors, 70 years and older, can now make an appointment with Smith’s Food & Drug stores to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The company is calling it a monumental day.
Smith’s began administering the Moderna vaccine on Jan. 20 at 45 different locations. In addition to being convenient, the pharmacy says it also allows individuals to get vaccinated at any location with open appointments.
“Coming in and getting your vaccine once you have scheduled yourself and made an appointment is as simple as going to the drop off window at the pharmacy like you were dropping off a prescription, completing the consent form that is required for any vaccine, finally then [the] pharmacy will come and do a review,” said Dan Heller, Smith’s Pharmacies Practice Coordinator.
Rose Kellogg lives in the northwest valley but scheduled her appointment at the pharmacy on Decatur and Flamingo.
“I’m really happy to be able to do it because we haven’t really been able to visit with anybody, with family or friends,” she said. “We had to cancel trips down to our kids in Houston. So, this will be nice.”
Pharmacies are given about 100 doses of the vaccine per week, which will allow them to balance their prescription volume while still vaccinating a good amount of people.
Rosie Barrientos took her mother and grandmother to the pharmacy on Wednesday morning. They were among the first to receive the vaccine.
“My grandmother recently did have COVID, and she was in the hospital for a month,” Barrientos shared. “This was a way to prevent it and not go back to the hospital.”
Initially, the vaccinations will only be available to people 70 years and older, as part of Tier 2 of the Nevada State public health COVID-19 vaccine distribution timeline. Smith’s is following the CDC’s phased distribution schedule for administering the vaccine and will strictly follow guidelines from the local health department on their vaccine distribution plan.
Seniors need to make an online appointment with their local Smith’s pharmacy, which can be done at this link. Just enter your zip code, select the store and then check the box for the COVID-19 vaccine. After you click continue, you will get an option to select a date and time.
The pharmacy says it opens appointments week by week, based on how many vaccines it receives.
Vaccine doses will be provided at no cost to patients. Anyone receiving a vaccine will be required to wait 15 minutes before leaving to ensure there are no side effects.
It’s anticipated that Smith’s will expand the vaccine distribution to the general public as government directives make the vaccine available to additional groups.