Independent pharmacies in Middletown, Warwick to start COVID-19 vaccinations Tuesday

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WLNE) – Starting Tuesday, two independent pharmacies in the state will start offering COVID-19 vaccines.

Matt’s Local Pharmacy in Middletown and Suburban Pharmacy in Warwick are the first two independently-owned pharmacies to begin administering vaccines to people who’ve made an appointment. Until now, only CVS and Walgreens were administering vaccines.

Suburban Pharmacy on Pawtuxet Avenue is vaccinating people with appointments on Tuesday and Wednesday and has received 100 doses from the state.

Matt’s Local Pharmacy has received around 300 doses from the state and will vaccinate people from Tuesday through the weekend.

“We are excited. It’s a little nervewracking to some extent, but I think overall we’re prepared,” said Matt Olivier.

Matt and Erica Olivier opened the pharmacy three years ago and said they’ve been eagerly awaiting the day they’d be able to offer COVID-19 vaccinations.

“I think we were kind of getting anxious to get started because we saw the vaccine elsewhere but we understand it’s a difficult process, so we just happy that we’re a part of it.”

The couple’s store has quickly become a trusted favorite of Aquidneck Islanders.

“Being a small independent family-run pharmacy, we feel really fortunate to offer the vaccine. A lot of the people who live on Aquidneck Island Island like to stay on Aquidneck Island and it’s just really convenient for people,” said Erica.

The Oliviers said their customers have been eagerly awaiting a shot from them.

“People have been asking for a while like when are you going to get it there, anticipating it, they knew we were going to get it eventually. People were very anxious and I think they’re really excited that we finally have it and we’re just relieved to be part of the hopefully beginning of the end.”

They’re starting out with 300 doses of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine, but say they’re expecting more doses to come from the state in April.

“They’ll check in with our desk when they get in the door and we have a very nice spaced out area where we can vaccinate about 6 to 8 people at a time,” explained Matt. “I think we’re gonna get between 200 and 300 vaccines into arms before Easter.”

As they get more doses from the state, Matt’s Local Pharmacy will expand into a local YMCA parking lot to be able to vaccinate more people, quicker.

“I think the whole reason we started a pharmacy was to try to serve our community,” Matt said, “so whatever we can do to try to get through this pandemic we’re very happy to help.”

Appointments for both locations are made through the state vaccine portal. To make an appointment at either pharmacy, click here.

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Categories: Coronavirus, News, Regional News, Rhode Island