Stop & Shop has begun offering the two Food and Drug Administration-authorized COVID-19 antiviral medicines, Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s Molnupiravir, at its 55 New York pharmacies.
Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop said yesterday that the antiviral oral medications will be provided at no cost with a valid prescription from a health care provider. Availability will vary by store.
Both antivirals are indicated for the treatment of COVID-19 in people who are at higher risk of developing more severe outcomes of the disease. Because the drugs are prescribed to people infected with the virus, Stop & Shop is urging patients to stay home and send a family member or friend to pick up the prescription. Store associates also will be on hand to deliver the prescription to customers’ vehicles via curbside delivery in the parking lot.
Molnupiravir can be prescribed only to adults, while Paxlovid is authorized for use by adults and children ages 12 and older weighing at least 88 pounds. The FDA noted that both antivirals are intended to reduce the risk of hospitalization from COVID-19 and aren’t a substitute for COVID-19 vaccinations.
Also on Thursday, Stop & Shop said its pharmacists are now authorized to administer second COVID-19 booster shots to eligible patients as per the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). On March 29, the FDA and the CDC gave the green light to second-round boosters of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines to certain population groups, including those ages 50 and older and selected immunocompromised individuals.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved over the past two years, Stop & Shop Pharmacy has provided our customers and communities with convenient and safe ways to protect their families and loved ones,” Katie Thornell, director of pharmacy operations at Stop & Shop, said in a statement. “By now offering COVID-19 antivirals, as well as second boosters to eligible customers, we look forward to helping more community members defend themselves and their families against COVID-19 and its evolving variants.”
Stop & Shop added that it has partnered with the Biden administration to distribute over-the-counter, self-administered rapid COVID-19 tests to eligible Medicare Part B recipients at no cost via its 234 pharmacies across its Northeastern market area. To receive an at-home test kit, customers need to bring their red-white-and-blue Medicare Part B cards to their local Stop & Shop pharmacy. Part B recipients can receive up to eight free rapid tests per calendar month.
In December, Stop & Shop began providing Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 5 to 11 at selected pharmacies across the Northeast. All adults can receive a Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine booster shot at any of the grocer’s pharmacies, with availability depending on location.
Part of Ahold Delhaize USA, Stop & Shop operates more than 400 supermarkets overall in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey.