Walgreens to Hire 25,000 to Help Distribute COVID-19 Vaccine
Walgreens expects to get its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 21, and will start giving shots to nursing home residents and workers at nearly 35,000 long-term care facilities nationwide in the days leading up to Christmas. To administer the vaccine, Walgreens plans to hire 25,000 people across the U.S., including 9,000 pharmacists and other healthcare workers. Walgreens will administer the vaccine to long-term care facilities through a partnership with pharmacy service provider PharMerica, the companies said during a panel discussion Friday, according to the The Chicago Tribune. Walgreens said it's prepared to expand access to the general population through its more than 9,000 stores once COVID-19 vaccines become available more broadly in 2021.
Total Retail's Take: Call it an early Christmas miracle: Walgreens administering the COVID-19 vaccine finally looks like a light at the end of the tunnel for millions of Americans affected by the virus. Even more Americans will have access to the shots, as Walgreens isn't the only retailer gearing up to administer COVID-19 vaccine doses.
CVS Health, for example, is preparing 10,000 healthcare professionals to give the shots, CEO Larry Merlo said last week in a CNBC interview. Walmart is also preparing more than 5,000 in-store pharmacies to receive the vaccine, setting up the necessary freezer space and dry ice to meet storage requirements, Walmart’s chief medical officer, Dr. Tom Van Gilder, said in a company blog post. It will be very interesting to see how these vaccines affect the bottom lines of the retail pharmacies distributing them. While the initial round of shots are being distributed outside of brick-and-mortar stores, when it is available to the general public in-store, it's likely that incremental purchasing will occur once consumers are in-store.