Pharmacies aren’t everywhere — adding dollar stores could reduce average distance to vaccination by 62%
In early 2021, as Americans who wanted a COVID-19 vaccination faced impossibly long lines at mega sites, or a virtual battle to book a slot at an impossibly insufficient number of local vaccination sites, the federal government made a hard and fast pivot.
The decision to allow pharmacies to deliver COVID-19 vaccine jabs was undoubtedly a big success as it enlisted 58,000 pharmacies to serve as official vaccine sites.
While that is a staggering number of pharmacies, not everyone lives down the block or a short hop to a local pharmacy. By one estimate, about 9 million Americans live more than 10 miles from a pharmacy. And lower-income and minority groups most often find themselves in such a “vaccination desert.” Research in 2021 found a wide disparity in many counties between the…