The RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis releases this report on Pharmacy Vaccination Service Availability in Nonmetropolitan Counties.
In February 2021 the White House announced the launch of the first phase of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination. The “public-private partnership with 21 national pharmacy partners and networks of independent pharmacies” is designed to “expand equitable access to vaccines”. As extensive as that network of pharmacy providers is, it does not include a number of nonmetropolitan counties. This brief uses data from the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs to identify counties where there are no pharmacies identified as providing vaccination services.
More than 100 nonmetropolitan counties (n=111) with a total population of 265,683 people have no pharmacy. A much larger number of counties (n=442) do not have a retail pharmacy directly affiliated with one of the 21 HHS “partner” chains/networks. If pharmacies indicating that they currently provide immunization service are added to the list of identified partner pharmacies, there are still 321 nonmetropolitan counties (total population more than 1.4 million people) with no pharmacy providing immunization service.