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SALT LAKE CITY– Smith's Food and Drug stores in Utah are in line to administer the COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes widely available. Kroger, Smith's parent company, announced Tuesday it will partner with state health departments and the federal government to provide the vaccine to residents in Utah and across the nation.
"Our team of healthcare professionals are actively preparing for the authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine," said Aubriana Martindale, Smith's Corporate Affairs Manager.
In a statement, Kroger said it would carry the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-authorized vaccine, and that the company will follow the federal roll-out plan. However, it's unclear when Smith's will have the vaccine in stock. Martindale told KSL NewsRadio that Smith's hopes to have the vaccine, "as soon as possible."
Martindale said Kroger will only administer an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine. Once available, the vaccine will be accessible at all Smith's locations across the state.
Currently, only the Pfizer-BioTech COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized by the FDA for emergency use. While the FDA reported the Moderna shot being 94.1% effective, it still hasn't authorized the vaccine.
Smith's uniquely qualified to provide COVID-19 vaccine
Kroger says it's uniquely qualified to administer the vaccine because of its widespread presence in communities throughout the U.S.
"At Smith's, we are committed to helping people live healthier lives. We have been diligent in doing our part in the community to stop the spread of the virus, including partnering with city and county health departments to provide free drive-through COVID-19 testing," said Martindale.
In Utah, Smith's partnered with the Governor's Office and the Utah Department of Health to organize a one-day drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at the Maverik Center.
Additionally, Smith's offers a $25 rapid antibody test at all Utah Smith's locations with pharmacies. Antibody results are usually available within 15-minutes.