Utahns won’t be able to stock up on their COVID-19 vaccines along with rolls of toilet paper and flats of sparkling water at Costco, at least not yet.
Demand in the state is about to go up with Gov. Spencer Cox declaring Thursday that residents age 65 to 69 are now eligible to get their shots. And within two weeks, vaccines will be made available to those with specific medical issues, no matter their age.
But while grocery chains around the state have begun distributing the vaccine through pharmacies, Costco isn’t one of them.
The wholesale retailer announced over the weekend that it would begin distributing coronavirus vaccines, but only in select locations. At the moment, those include warehouses in New York, California, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington and Puerto Rico.
A statement on Costco’s website said, “Our pharmacies will be administering COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are available, in accordance with CDC and state guidelines.”
In the meantime, seven grocery chains within Utah are administering shots through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, including Dan’s, Dick’s, Harmons, Fresh Market, Maceys, Smith’s/Kroger and Walmart.
Not all locations will be receiving vaccines. Appointments can only be made through the stores’s websites, although direct links to their vaccination pages can be found on the coronavirus.utah.gov site.
Alternately, the state has contracted with Nomi Health, which will provide vaccines at in Orem, Lehi and Vineyard and run a mobile vaccination unit.
Local health departments are also administering the vaccine. Salt Lake County was taking a staggered start to giving shots to the new category of eligible residents. Those age 70 and older could begin scheduling appointments Thursday, while 69 year olds could get in the game Friday. Starting at 6 p.m. Monday, anyone 65 or older could make an appointment.
Health care workers, long-term care facility staff and residents, first responders and K-12 teachers and school staff are also currently eligible to receive the vaccine in Utah.
Pharmacies will bill a patient’s insurance provider for administering the vaccine. Uninsured patients will have the fee reimbursed through the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund.