Top 5 Takeaways

  1. Significant Contribution by FRPP: The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program (FRPP) partners administered 67.7% of the 59.8 million COVID-19 bivalent vaccine doses in the U.S. during the study period.
  2. Variation Across Age Groups: The highest uptake of bivalent vaccine doses administered by FRPP partners was observed among adults aged 18–49 years (70.6%), while the lowest was among children aged 6 months–4 years (5.9%).
  3. Equitable Access Across Racial and Ethnic Groups: FRPP partners administered a significant portion of bivalent doses to racial and ethnic minority groups, demonstrating a key role in ensuring equitable vaccine access.
  4. Urban vs. Rural Distribution: FRPP partners administered a higher proportion of bivalent doses in urban areas (81.6%) compared to rural areas (60.0%), highlighting differences in pharmacy accessibility.
  5. Potential Model for Future Public Health Responses: The success of the FRPP in administering bivalent COVID-19 vaccine doses suggests it could serve as a model for future vaccine-preventable disease responses.

Original Article Author and Citation

Corresponding Author

Roua El Kalach, PharmD,

Suggested Citation

El Kalach R, Jones-Jack N, Elam MA, et al. Federal Retail Pharmacy Program Contributions to Bivalent mRNA COVID-19 Vaccinations Across Sociodemographic Characteristics — United States, September 1, 2022–September 30, 2023. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2024;73:286–290. DOI:


This study evaluates the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program’s contribution to administering COVID-19 bivalent mRNA vaccine doses across various sociodemographic groups in the U.S. from September 1, 2022, to September 30, 2023. It found that 67.7% of the total 59.8 million doses were administered by FRPP partners, with significant variations across age groups, and equitable access across racial and ethnic groups.


The analysis utilized two data sources: FRPP bivalent dose administration data reported directly to CDC and all-provider data on bivalent vaccine dose administration reported to CDC by each jurisdiction. It examined the proportion of doses administered by FRPP partners across different age cohorts, sexes, racial and ethnic groups, and urban-rural classifications.


The FRPP’s substantial role in administering bivalent doses indicates its effectiveness in making COVID-19 vaccines accessible across the U.S. Differences in vaccine uptake among different demographic groups highlight areas for further investigation and potential improvement in public health strategies.


The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program has been crucial in ensuring access to bivalent COVID-19 vaccinations across the U.S., demonstrating the potential for pharmacies to play a key role in future public health responses. Further strategies are needed to improve data collection and reporting, especially in pharmacy settings, to guide public health practices effectively.

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