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CVS Health plans to vaccinate people after Dr. Ruiz calls out pharmacy for leaving Riverside County out of vaccination plans

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 UPDATE 2/11

Appointments are now available at local CVS Pharmacies.

Click here to sign up: https://www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine


ORIGINAL COVERAGE 2/10:

Just one day after local Representative Raul  Ruiz called out a major pharmacy chain for leaving Riverside County out of their vaccination plans. CVS Health is now making some changes. 

CVS Health announced earlier this month that 100 store locations statewide would be giving the COVID-19 vaccine through a federal partnership program. Dr. Ruiz was frustrated he didn’t see a single location in Riverside County.  

“There has to be more of an effort to ensure that those that have barriers to access those vaccines, that those barriers are eliminated," said Ruiz.

On Tuesday, the Congressman wrote a letter to the CEO of CVS pushing for prioritization in high risk underserved communities .

For full letter click here.

Then by Wednesday afternoon, CVS told News Channel 3 some Coachella Valley pharmacies will be administering the coronavirus vaccine that includes La Quinta, Coachella, and Indio. 

“Our county has been one that has consistently been in one of the worst in terms of infection, rates and deaths," said Dr. Ruiz.

CVS won’t confirm the exact store locations yet, but plan to start friday. 

The reason retail pharmacies are important in the rush to vaccinate.. is their accessibility in neighborhoods.

“We know that they are almost every community, here in the district they can play a very important role, not only in increasing access to vaccines, but also in informing the community," said Dr. Ruiz.

Other pharmacies currently partnering with Riverside County to vaccinate include those at Albertsons, Costco, and Ralph’s. 

Ruiz is pushing for  equitable vaccination distribution.

CVS explained as more vaccine supply from the federal government becomes available, they  expect to add more locations and appointments statewide.

Dr. Ruiz responds to the new plans.

"I'm glad CVS heeded my calls to bring more vaccines to my constituents," said Dr. Ruiz. " I will continue working to provide our local communities with more vaccines so that we can get through this pandemic as quickly and safely as possible."

People can start registering for a vaccine appointment on CVS website starting Thursday.

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Dani Romero

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