By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The White House announced Tuesday retail pharmacies will receive direct shipments of 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines next week. That is welcome news for local officials as they’re trying to increase the number of people getting shots.

Finding a COVID vaccine should be getting a little easier with a growing number of retail pharmacies soon to be offering shots.

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People over 65 and those with medical conditions qualify to be vaccinated, along with frontline workers. But Philadelphia is still limiting vaccinations for people under the age of 75.

Philadelphia will open new mass vaccination clinics on Feb. 22. The locations have not been announced yet but people would be invited after signing up on the city’s vaccine interest website.

“We are trying to do this fast, trying to do it in a way that will save the most lives and we’re trying to do this with racial equity,” said city Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley.

In addition to the new clinics, the health commissioner said pharmacies will begin vaccinating residents 75 and older this week.

Walgreens will have 20 locations, and ShopRite pharmacies will have three. Other drug stores, like Rite Aid, will also be part of the expansion later this month.

Still, the supplies won’t meet the demand.

“We simply don’t have enough doses going to enough people. Everyone needs to keep up their masks and their distancing for now. No indoor gatherings,” Farley said. “Also plan now, no Super Bowl watch parties. If you do get together do it outside wearing masks. And these precautions are for everyone, whether you’re vaccinated or not.”

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Philadelphia is also aiming to improve vaccinations in minority communities where COVID is more deadly.

So is Delaware. Gov. John Carney announced a new partnership with faith communities.

“We’re now gonna be targeting communities in our state where we have more vulnerable populations, minority populations, low-income populations that we’re not seeing at some of the large clinics,” Gov. Carney said.

Gov. Carney said Delaware was among the top 10 states getting vaccine distributed, umbers he says will improve with the additional doses coming from the federal task force.

The new federal pharmacy vaccine program announced today will be administered by the CDC and include outlets like CVS, Walmart and Costco, as well as supermarket pharmacies.


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Stephanie Stahl