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In-Depth: San Diego County's alternative COVID-19 vaccination sites

Ralphs holding hiring event at every San Diego store
Posted at 4:21 PM, Feb 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 15:29:11-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — If you’re 65 or older and having trouble getting a COVID-19 vaccine through your healthcare provider or at one of the San Diego County's sites, there are other options.

Several grocery stores are offering the vaccines at their pharmacies. Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons, and Pavilions have doses available at some locations by appointment only to those currently eligible.

“If you have an appointment, we have a dose for you,” said Vanessa Camara, Albertsons Pharmacy district manager for the San Diego Area.

Camara said 40 locations in the county are taking appointments daily when vaccine doses are available at Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions.

See the map below for alternate vaccine sites in San Diego County:

“Currently we have our doses coming in from the county,” she said.

Signing up is done online here. You put in your zip code, confirm you’re eligible, and start checking out different nearby locations to find open appointments.

Right now, Camara said the biggest issue is people showing up hours before their scheduled appointment, causing long lines and crowds.

“Maybe people are afraid we might run out of the dose, so they come earlier,” she explained. “When everybody shows up at once, we end up having to do crowd control.”

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She wants to reassure people that if you have an appointment, you will get your shot. Camara advises people to show up only about 15 minutes before their scheduled time. She said people would also receive an alert to schedule their second dose.

“The same way they got the alert about the first dose, either text message or email, they’ll get the alert to schedule their second dose, and it needs to be at the same location they got their first dose at,” said Camara.

For Ralphs, appointments are also made online here, while doses are available at the nine pharmacy locations in San Diego County.

RELATED: HOW-TO GUIDE: Finding and scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine appointment

Starting this week, CVS Health will also begin taking appointments for COVID-19 vaccines locally through the federal pharmacy partnership program.

“On February 11, our registration window will open,” said Lisa Kalajian, CVS Health District Leader. “The can go on CVS.com, leverage our CVS app, or call our customer service headquarters, not only to schedule the first vaccine, but also the booster vaccine.”

Vaccinations at CVS pharmacies will then start on Feb. 12.

Rite Aid pharmacies are also offering eligible residents vaccines by appointment. To see if you're eligible and find the closest location, click here.