Big Y Pharmacy and Wellness Centers will offer free COVID vaccine when available and approved

All 33 Big Y Pharmacy and Wellness Centers are preparing to administer the COVID-19 vaccines once they are approved and available for distribution, Big Y Foods Inc. announced Wednesday. The stores are doing so in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to a news release from the company.

This partnership is being established in anticipation that one or more COVID-19 vaccines will be authorized and approved for use in the United States as part of the Federal Pharmacy Partnership Strategy for COVID-19.

Stop & Shop is also participating.

Pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy interns in retail and grocery stores are considered crucial public health partners for increasing access and convenience of COVID-19 vaccines.

Big Y said its pharmacy team currently provides seasonal flu and other routine vaccines.

The team plans to participate in any additional training to ensure the safe administration of the vaccine, along with educating their customers about the process.

“We are proud to partner with the United States government in order to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to our customers,” said Charles L. D’Amour, Big Y’s president and CEO. “When a vaccine is available, our pharmacy teams will be ready to administer them as per CDC guidelines.”

Big Y Foods, Inc. is one of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England, operating 85 locations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut.