By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– In accordance with a directive from the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Biden Administration, Rite Aid announced expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine appointments to pre-K to high school educators, school staff and licensed childcare program staff.
To comply with the HHS directive to ensure teachers, school staff and childcare workers are vaccinated during the month of March, select COVID-19 vaccine appointments at Rite Aid will be available exclusively to qualifying educators, school staff and licensed childcare program staff for two days: Thursday March 11 and Friday, March 12. For otherwise eligible individuals, as decided by state and local guidelines, appointments will again be available for scheduling beginning Saturday, March 13. The Rite Aid scheduling tool, built for eligible individuals in the seven states and two local jurisdictions where we currently administer vaccines through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, can be found at www.RiteAid.com/covid-19. The tool has been updated to reflect the new eligibility criteria, including:
-Pre-Kindergarten – 12th grade educators and staff
-Family childcare providers
-Head Start & Early Head Start
“Teachers and school employees are cornerstones of our communities, and we truly appreciate all the hard work and dedication they continue to put into educating our children as we battle this pandemic,” said Jim Peters, chief operating officer, Rite Aid. “In support of the HHS directive for provider partners to prioritize the vaccination of educators, school staff and licensed childcare staff, we are proud to do our part in protecting school communities and returning educators, staff and students safely back into classrooms. In-person learning is a critical step forward to help address mental health concerns and educational disparities for our most disadvantaged and vulnerable students. We continue to embrace our role in helping end the pandemic.”
Concurrently, in order to improve the nationwide challenge of improving vaccine uptake in underserved communities, Rite Aid continues to schedule clinics outside of its online scheduler through partnerships with government officials, churches and community organizations, as well as a toll free phone number in certain markets that addresses an equity gap for those without internet. It is also working with its state and local jurisdiction partners in an attempt to remove more restrictive eligibility criteria requirements placed upon Rite Aid that limits its ability to maximize shots in arms.