CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. –  “We take care of our communities and this is just one way that we feel like that we can do that whether it’s providing groceries or whether it’s providing healthcare and part of that being able to give the COVID vaccine,” Food City Pharmacy, Fuel & Convenience Stores Executive V.P. Mickey Blazer said.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that they would be partnering with pharmacies all across the U.S. to administer free COVID-19 vaccines to the public.

Food City Pharmacy is just one of those pharmacy chains that is a part of that federal program.

Blazer said that they’ve been working with various organizations and agencies and have been meeting daily just to prepare for the vaccines.

“We’ve also made sure that we had equipment in place that we were prepared for the storage of the vaccine when we got it, would be freezers and temperature monitor devices that will be required,” Blazer said.

While preparations for a coronavirus vaccine are ongoing, there is no exact word on when pharmacies will actually get them and will be able to make them available to the public.

“That’s still pending. Obviously there’s two of the different manufacturers that have submitted their vaccine to the FDA for emergency approval. We’re still waiting to hear, and we’ll go from there as directed,” Blazer said.

Blazer said that they have team of over 200 certified immunizing pharmacists ready to help vaccinate the public.

According to the HHS, vaccines at pharmacies will be given at no cost.