By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Ralphs has begun administering free COVID-19 vaccinations to its pharmacists and pharmacy staff, along with other health care providers at its 50 pharmacies in Los Angeles and Riverside counties.

Ralphs Pharmacy locations in Long Beach and San Diego, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, will receive the COVID-19 vaccine next week, the grocery chain said.

The Moderna vaccinations are currently available to those who are eligible as part of the first tiers of Phase 1A of county public health COVID-19 vaccine distribution phases.

Those seeking vaccinations will be required to complete a disclosure form declaring they are eligible for the Phase 1A, according to the company.

“We are confident in the safety of the vaccine based on the thorough clinical trials and assurances from the Food & Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” said Dr. Linh Lee, Ralphs’ director of pharmacy/health & wellness. “Additionally, Ralphs pharmacists will provide monitoring for 15-30 minutes after the vaccination is administered for any potential immediate reaction that could occur.”

“Our most urgent priority throughout this pandemic has been to provide a safe environment for our associates and customers while meeting our societal obligation to provide open stores and access to fresh, affordable food,” Lee added.

Frontline grocery employees will be part of Phase 1B distribution of the vaccine distribution.

The grocery chain, part of The Kroger Co., said the vaccine will be rolled out to all 77 Ralphs Pharmacies throughout Southern California and the Central Coast as soon it becomes available through local health departments.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)