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Stay informed about the COVID-19 vaccine

As a Federal Retail Pharmacy 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?

As a Federal Retail Pharmacy Partner, Rite Aid will receive vaccine allocation from the federal government in six states and two jurisdictions: California, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington State, Philadelphia, and New York City. We may also receive dose allocation directly from additional state and local jurisdictions. Rite Aid does not determine vaccine supply or which individual groups are eligible, but we are supporting state and local distribution plans. For more detail see our eligibility guide below. 

Appointment Scheduling and Eligibility Information

For updated information on vaccine eligibility in your area and to schedule an appointment at Rite Aid, view our Eligibility Guide.
Vaccine doses are extremely limited. If you are unable to make an appointment, please be patient. Appointment availability is updated daily. Store and Pharmacy associates are not able to schedule appointments.


COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

Last updated 3/3/21


Federal Retail Partnership

The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination is a collaboration between the federal government, states and territories, and 21 national pharmacy partners and independent pharmacy networks. The program aims to increase access to the COVID-19 vaccine across the country by allowing the federal government to provide COVID-19 vaccines directly to pharmacies to vaccinate eligible individuals in their communities. This program will supplement the existing and ongoing allocations provided to Rite Aid and other pharmacies that are provided through state and local jurisdictions. 

The first phase of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program launched the week of February 8 and immediately provided a five percent increase in available vaccine supply. Eventually, as vaccine supply increases, the allocation to pharmacies will also increase and our progress toward ending this pandemic will accelerate..

State and local jurisdictions will continue to define their own eligibility requirements. So, if you qualify to receive the vaccine based on your state or local jurisdictions rules, you can benefit from this increased vaccine supply.

Rite Aid is one of the federal government’s premier pharmacy partners. Our role is to administer the COVID-19 vaccines we are allocated as quickly, safely, and efficiently as possible.

No. Stores will only carry one vaccine or the other. We will be adding more administering locations to account for our increased vaccinating capacity.

We will work tirelessly to ensure that we vaccinate as many people as our allocation allows. We appreciate the public’s patience and cooperation with the process.    

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 based on the recommended time frame for the type of vaccine you receive. 


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


Learn more about FDA-authorized vaccines.

Please bring:
  • government issued form of identification to verify your identity (driver's license or social security card)
  • completed consent form
  • prescription and medical insurance care (Medicare card like shown below for customers 65+)


No. The allocations are provided by the federal government and we work collaboratively to determine which store locations are selected. Both vaccines have shown similar and extremely high efficacy rates and we’re proud to administer them in our communities.

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. 

From the customer's perspective, no. The only difference in administration is the time between doses (21 days for Pfizer vs. 28 days for Moderna). Rite Aid ensures customers receive the correct second dose at the correct time when they are automatically scheduled for their second appointment.

We are prepared to accommodate the necessary storage for the Pfizer vaccine; the vaccines will arrive in a dry-ice shipper, where they can be stored for up to five days. Once removed from dry ice, vaccines can continue to be stored in the pharmacy’s refrigerator for another five days.

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.

FREE* COVID-19 Testing

Testing available 

to anyone 4+.


*through partnership with Department of Health and Human Services

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 2/12/21

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. We follow local guidance regarding protective measures, such as capacity limits.


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, when necessary.


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 Plexiglass 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. 

The test only takes a few minutes to complete from check-in to completion. 

Testing is painless and just requires swabbing midway in both nostrils. 

You’ll receive your results within 2-7 days via the email you provided at registration.


If positive, a health care worker will call you.

Learn more from the experts