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Stay informed on the COVID-19 vaccine

As a CDC partner, Rite Aid supports safety and health in our communities as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19 and help people get thriving. 

Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The CDC provides vaccine distribution guidance; however, state and local jurisdictions determine rollout prioritization based on a number of factors, including availability of doses allocated by the federal government.  Rite Aid does not determine vaccine supply or which individuals or groups are eligible, but we are supporting state and local jurisdiction distribution plans by administering approved COVID-19 vaccines in select areas.


You cannot schedule a vaccination appointment directly through Rite Aid at this time, but we will update this page as soon as this changes.


For more information on vaccine eligibility in states and local jurisdictions, including how to register and where Rite Aid has been asked to help administer vaccines, please visit


Learn more about the CDC's guidance on vaccine distribution.

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

Last updated 1/25/21


Vaccine Eligibility & Scheduling

Rite Aid is helping to administer vaccines in some areas, but is not currently able to schedule appointments directly. Please see our eligibility and registration guide for more information. In some instances, you may need to visit a county website instead of the state’s website for the most relevant information. If you’re unsure which page is relevant for you, we recommend checking both.


As more vaccinations become available, we will continue to update this page with the latest scheduling information. 

If you did not schedule an appointment for the second dose during the registration process, your second dose appointment will be scheduled for you. Your second dose will be scheduled for 28 days after your first dose was administered.


We will remind you of your appointment date and time with a phone call 2 days prior. 


Learn more about FDA-authorized vaccines.

No, the state will determine how vaccine supply is allocated. Both FDA-authorized vaccines require two doses to complete and have been proven to be over 94% effective. Learn more about each vaccine here

The CDC has provided some guidance regarding whether you can get the COVID-19 vaccine alongside other vaccinations, including:


  • If you get the COVID-19 vaccine first, wait at least 14 days before getting any other vaccine, including a flu or shingles vaccine.
  • If you get another vaccine first, wait at least 14 days before getting your COVID-19 vaccine. However, if a COVID-19 vaccine is inadvertently given within 14 days of another vaccine, you do not need to restart the COVID-19 two-dose vaccine series; you should still complete the series on schedule.

If more data becomes available, we will update our page in accordance with CDC guidelines

Vaccine & Safety Information

In order to develop effective vaccines as quickly as possible, the United States federal government launched a program with the goal of enabling research and development for several different vaccine approaches simultaneously for two key reasons:


  • It was unlikely that all vaccine approaches would be proven effective.
  • Some vaccine technologies require longer developmental timelines.

Learn more here

Both FDA-authorized vaccines use mRNA technology to boost your body’s immune response.


While COVID-19 may seem new to many of us, researchers have been studying coronaviruses for over 50 years. During this time, they’ve also been learning how mRNA technology can help develop effective vaccines. mRNA can be thought of as a set of instructions that tell your body’s cells how to make proteins.


  • The mRNA vaccine tells your body to make a small, non-infective portion of the outer part of the COVID-19 virus particle called a “spike protein”.
  • This trains your immune system to recognize the virus and your body responds by building antibodies.
  • Later, if you are exposed to the real virus, these antibodies are then able to attack it and prevent you from getting sick. The antibodies’ ability to prevent sickness is what is meant when people say a vaccine provides immunity.

A key benefit of mRNA vaccines is that the process to develop them can be standardized and scaled up more efficiently than other methods, which has been especially important in our response to COVID-19.


There are three other vaccines that are currently in their Phase 3 large-scale clinical trials. Learn more here

Both FDA-authorized vaccines have been proven to be 94% effective after two doses. Learn more about the science and effectiveness of FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines here.

Yes. Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide in real-world conditions before determining when people can safely stop wearing masks and following other protective measures.


While FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines have proven to prevent vaccinated individuals from experiencing COVID-19, experts are also still determining whether vaccines will prevent the ability to spread the virus.

Both FDA-authorized vaccines have been developed using decades of research and studied in large-scale clinical trials. They are held to the same safety and effectiveness standards as all other vaccines. Individuals are monitored after receiving the vaccine to further ensure safety. The CDC has recommended special considerations for some individuals with underlying conditions.


Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines.


Learn more about underlying conditions.

Yes. There is not enough research yet to know whether your body’s natural immune response to having had COVID-19 will continue to protect you after you recover. In order to limit chances of reinfection, and to help ensure that we stop the spread of COVID-19, it’s important that everyone who is eligible gets the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. 

It is possible to experience side effects after receiving a vaccine. The most common side effects include pain or swelling in the arm where you get the vaccine, body chills, fever, tiredness or headache. Side effects may feel like flu and even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. You can find tips on how to reduce pain or discomfort if you experience side effects here


Please note: With current FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines, you will need 2 shots for 94% effectiveness. Get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get a second shot.

Allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccines are not common, but can happen. You will be monitored for 15 minutes after you get your COVID-19 vaccine dose by a registered health care professional. If you get a COVID-19 vaccine and you think you might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site, seek immediate medical care by calling 911. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and rare severe allergic reactions here

FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines do not contain eggs, preservatives or latex.


For a full list of ingredients, please see the fact sheets below:


Herd immunity means that enough people in a community are protected from getting a disease because they’ve already had the disease or they’ve been vaccinated. Experts do not yet know what percentage of people would need to get vaccinated to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19; however, the CDC and other experts are actively studying this and will provide more information as it is available.


Yes, however, you can get the vaccine but may want to consult your doctor. At this time, there is limited data about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for people who are pregnant. Based on how mRNA vaccines work, experts believe they are unlikely to pose a specific risk for people who are pregnant. However, the actual risks of mRNA vaccines to the pregnant person and her fetus are unknown because these vaccines have not been studied in pregnant women.



Yes, but you may want to consult your doctor. mRNA vaccines are not thought to be a risk to the breastfeeding infant, but there is no data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in lactating women or on the effects of mRNA vaccines on the breastfed infant or on milk production/excretion at this time.


Find more guidance on considerations for pregnant or breastfeeding women here

There are currently no FDA-authorized vaccines for use in individuals younger than 16 years of age at this time. As more research is completed, this may change. We will keep our page updated with the latest information. 

How to plan for the vaccine

Individuals will not be charged for the vaccine or its administration. The federal government will pay for the cost of the vaccine. Vaccine providers will be reimbursed for administering the vaccine by the patient's insurance or by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) program for uninsured patients.

When you get vaccinated, you will receive a fact sheet about the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as information about possible side effects or allergic reactions. Immediately after, you will be monitored on-site for 15-minutes. If you do not experience any reactions that warrant further medical assistance, you will be allowed to leave.


Both FDA-authorized vaccines require two doses for 94% effectiveness. If you make your dose 1 appointment at Rite Aid, we will also schedule your second dose appointment. It is important that dose 1 & 2 are from the same vaccine. If you get both doses at Rite Aid, we will ensure this is the case; however, you do not have to get your second dose at a Rite Aid.


You cannot schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment directly with Rite Aid at this time, but we will update this page as soon scheduling is available. If you have access to a smartphone, we recommend that you sign up for V-safe, the CDC After Vaccination Health Checker tool.


Please note: you MUST have an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Your dose 2 visit will follow the same procedure as your dose 1 visit, but you will additionally receive proof of vaccination once your visit is complete. If you have access to a smartphone, we recommend that you sign up for V-safe, the CDC After Vaccination Health Checker tool.

V-safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Through V-safe, you can quickly tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on your answers, someone from CDC may call to check on you and get more information. Register for V-safe here.


V-safe will also remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose if you need one, but it cannot schedule appointments.

Learn how we can help you stay healthy and stay safe.


Rite Aid’s COVID-19 measures are designed to keep our customers and communities safe.

COVID-19 Testing

Testing available 

to anyone 18 or older.

Rite Aid Virtual Care

Schedule a video chat 

appointment with a 

RediClinic clinician.

Questions on COVID-19?

Stay up-to-date on important

 health and safety updates 

regarding Coronavirus.


Rx Drive Thru

Pick up prescriptions 

and household  essentials 

at a store near you.

Free Rx Delivery

Get your prescriptions delivered 

conveniently to your 

doorstep at no cost.



Order Online

Shop online for ship-to-home. For same-day delivery, we have partnered with Instacart.

Customer & Associate Support

Pick up prescriptions and household essentials at a store near you


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Over 65?

For the safety of seniors, we have designated 9 AM to 10 AM each day as a senior shopping hour to limit exposure for customers 65+*

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*In Massachusetts, eligible customers are age 60+. All other states, eligible customers are age 65+ and/or immune-compromised.



Last updated 1/25/21

It can be confusing to know whether the symptoms you’re experiencing are related to COVID-19. Find out more information here

All Rite Aid administered COVID-19 tests are free and available to ages 4+, but you must have an appointment to get a test. Learn more about COVID-19 testing and schedule your test here

The safety of our associates, customers and communities is our number one priority. During this unprecedented crisis, we are taking many extra precautions to continue to serve our customers during a time when they need our help the most.


Our stores, pharmacies and distribution centers are all following CDC guidance to help stop the spread of the virus.


Our stores and distribution centers are using cleaning kits that include hand sanitizers, wipes, masks and gloves.  We are cleaning more frequently and constantly disinfecting high-traffic surfaces throughout these locations. We follow strict cleaning procedures per CDC guidance when an associate has tested positive for COVID-19 or is presumed to have a case of COVID-19, including closing the store for a comprehensive sanitizing regimen.


We also offer services such as delivery, drive thru (at select locations), 90 day script refills and much more. 

We have signs and tape markers encouraging you to keep six feet of distance from others. We are installing Plexiglas shields at the registers and pharmacy windows.

Rite Aid understands that the elderly population and those with underlying medical conditions are particularly susceptible to COVID-19. We have set aside special daily shopping hours between 9 am and 10 am to serve senior citizens and those with a weakened immune system.


If you’re not a senior or somebody with a weakened immune system, we appreciate your patience, flexibility and willingness to visit our stores outside of that reserved hour. If you need a prescription during that time, we encourage you to use our full-service pharmacy windows available at most locations or to call ahead to the store for accommodation. We encourage everybody to also take advantage of free prescription delivery, and online shopping options to minimize person-to-person contact.

All stores are currently offering "Pay ‘n Go” pre-pay services for prescriptions. Patients who are signed up for Prescription Notifications at eligible stores will have an option to pre-pay for their pharmacy order when they receive their “Your Prescription is Ready” text or email with a link to pay.


We are also encouraging the use of contactless payments like Apple Pay, Android Pay and contactless cards, which allow you to hold your card near the pin pad to be read wirelessly. Contact your bank for more information on contactless credit cards.


A supply of finger covers are available at each register, and customers are encouraged to use one if they need to touch our pin pad payment units. 

Learn more from the experts