Rite Aid Corp. RAD, -5.48% said Thursday that as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, which launches Thursday, that will receive COVID-19 vaccines directly from the U.S. government in five states and two major cities. Participating stores in California, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania, as well as New York City and Philadelphia, will receive 100 doses per week, with allocations to grow over time. “Initially, vaccine appointments will still be difficult to schedule at any provider,” said the drugstore chain’s Chief Executive Heyward Donigan. “However, we expect to see availability of the vaccine improve over time, and Rite Aid stands ready to administer as many vaccines as we are allocated quickly, safely and efficiently.” Separately, Rite Aid said it is expanding free COVID-19 self-swab testing to all of its drive-through locations, with 441 additional locations opening up on Friday. Rite Aid’s stock, which slipped 0.3% in morning trading, has soared 125.7% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 SPX, -0.25% has gained 9.7%.