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Pharmacy chain facing compliance issues for vaccine booking procedure

Vaccinate NEPA

SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – There are questions surrounding a major pharmacy chain’s compliance to have ‘live’ phone agents available to make vaccine appointments.

Scranton has one of only four Rite Aid locations that is playing by the rules set forward by the department of health when it comes to booking these critical vaccine appointments.

More than 500 Rite Aid stores in Pennsylvania take appointments on the web only. Locations in Scranton, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Harrisburg are reportedly taking phone appointments.

Competing pharmacy CVS does have live agents which comply with a state mandate issued nearly two months ago.

The mandate states that effective February 19th, vaccine providers must offer appointment scheduling to everyone eligible in Phase 1A both online and through phone systems that are answered by a person.

In a released statement, Rite Aid said, “As a federal retail pharmacy program partner, we make updates when we receive guidance from the CDC and the state Department of Health.”

The health department says it contacted Rite Aid, and says the company claimed it does have a phone line, but that it’s switched “Off” when appointments aren’t available.

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