News Release
 December 29, 2020
CONTACT: Kathy Sautter
716 635 5577

(Williamsville, NY) - To maximize access to COVID-19 vaccines for all Americans, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced the U.S. government’s partnerships with large chain pharmacies and networks that represent independent pharmacies and regional chains throughout the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Tops Friendly Markets pharmacies are proud to be participants in this program. “Ensuring access and affordability of the COVID-19 vaccine for all Americans is a top priority for the Trump Administration,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “We are leveraging the existing private sector infrastructure to get safe and effective vaccines supported by Operation Warp Speed into communities and into arms as quickly as possible with no out-of-pocket costs. The vast majority of Americans live within five miles of a pharmacy, and our new agreement with pharmacy partners across America is a critical step toward making sure all Americans have access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines when they are available.”

As trusted health resources, Tops Friendly Markets pharmacists and pharmacy interns are trained and certified through APHA, American Pharmacists Association, to give immunizations. They have also played a vital role in the public health response to COVID-19 by counseling patients and expanding access to childhood vaccinations.

“Tops Friendly Markets pharmacies are proud to be among one of the first sites receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) partnerships,” said Matthew Hamed, director of Pharmacy for Tops. “As members of Topco, a network of independent retailers, we are able to offer the same opportunities for our customers as the larger chains. This partnership with HHS will allow our pharmacies to provide access to those who may not otherwise have access to the vaccine.”

Both Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna have developed COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use by the FDA. Each vaccine is a two dose series. Once Phase 2 of the vaccine distribution begins and it is made available to retail pharmacies, Tops will follow the guidelines set forth by state and federal governments. No official timeframe has been given on when that will be. The CDC’s goal is for every adult who wants a vaccine to have it by the end of 2021.

“Since the onset of COVID, Tops has been at the forefront of providing a safe environment for our customers and associates. We have learned throughout the pandemic how to better protect and provide for those in our community. From providing our customers with essential food, cleaning, and other household supplies, and the PPE they need for their families, to implementing additional safety measures inside all of our stores so they could shop with confidence, Tops has been vigilant in its efforts,” said Kristen Hanson, vice president of center store, our brands & pharmacy for Tops. “We will continue to be a part of the solution and look forward to our relationship with community partners and local health officials to make a positive impact.”

For more information on the roll out plan for the COVID-19 vaccination, customers may call consumer affairs at 1-800-522-2522, M-F 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Sat-Sun 9:00 AM-3:00 PM.

For local media, our pharmacy director, Matthew Hamed, is available for interviews regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and what we are currently doing to keep shoppers and staff safe, and ways to help boost immune systems and stay healthy. Please contact Kathy Sautter to schedule an interview.


About Tops Friendly Markets Tops Markets, LLC is headquartered in Williamsville, NY and operates 157 full-service supermarkets with five additional franchise stores and is the largest private, for-profit employer in Western New York. As a leading grocery retailer in New York, northern Pennsylvania, and western Vermont, and with the support of 15,000 associates, our core mission is to help our communities flourish. We support programs that seek to eradicate hunger and disease; promote the education of our youth; and to ensure we reduce environmental waste and energy consumption while providing our customers with sustainably sourced, high quality products. For more information, visit


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