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CVS expanding COVID-19 vaccine to 6 more states: Florida, Arizona, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Alabama and Louisiana

Starting Friday, the COVID-19 vaccine will be available in select CVS stores in 17 states.

The drugstore chain announced Wednesday that it is expanding its vaccination rollout to pharmacies in six states: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

CVS started offering the vaccine Feb. 12 in about 350 stores across 11 states: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. CVS says it was administering the vaccine on a limited basis in Ohio using state allocations.

The vaccine currently is available only at select locations and for eligible populations, which vary state by state. CVS says appointments for its latest allocation of 570,000 doses are now available to book with shots available beginning Friday.

CVS COVID-19 vaccine: CVS to help underserved Americans schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments

Tracking COVID-19 vaccine distribution: How many people have been vaccinated in the US?

Last week, CVS announced plans to contact Americans living in underserved communities to help them schedule vaccine appointments amid signs that white Americans are getting the free vaccine at higher rates than Black Americans.

"Feedback on every aspect of the vaccination process has been incredibly positive, from the digital experience to interacting with our team of health care professionals," CVS Health President and CEO Karen Lynch said in a news release Wednesday. "We're also making significant progress in reaching vulnerable communities, which will continue to be an essential part of our vaccination effort."

Walgreens, Walmart, Kroger and many other major retailers with pharmacies also started administering their first COVID-19 vaccine doses earlier in February as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is administering the program.

The initial rollout included about 6,500 pharmacies across the nation, but the plan is to expand the program to 40,000 pharmacies.

According to USA TODAY's vaccine tracker, which is frequently updated, as of Tuesday, about 13.4% of people in the US have received at least one COVID-19 shot and about 6% of people have received both doses of the vaccine. About 20.8% of the shots distributed haven't been used yet.

CVS COVID vaccine appointments

CVS, which has nearly 10,000 locations, including pharmacies inside Target stores, said as vaccine supply becomes available through the federal program, it will expand to additional states while increasing the number of stores offering vaccinations. The company said it has the capacity to administer 20 million to 25 million shots per month.

CVS is requiring appointments for the vaccine, which can be made at or through the CVS Pharmacy app. Anyone without internet access can call 800-746-7287.

Contributing: Nathan Bomey and Janie Haseman, USA TODAY

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID vaccine appointments: CVS adds vaccination to six more states