COVID-19: Kroger Co. reveals deal to provide coronavirus vaccine in 35 states

Stephen Trapp, pharmacist at CVS Health, prepares a Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for a Community First Solutions therapist on Monday, December 21, 2020 in Hamilton, Ohio. Danielle Webb, vice president of marketing and community relations at Community First Solutions, said they had vaccinated about 40 Community First employees and 27 residents by Monday. Webb hopes to vaccinate 150 residents and 365 employees between its three locations.
Kroger Health, a health division of Kroger Co., has announced that it will provide coronavirus vaccines nationwide through its pharmacy and clinic locations.
The Cincinnati-based national grocery chain will hire nearly 1,000 people for jobs that include pharmacy technicians and other positions to help operate and administer the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a company press release.
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Kroger did not specify when COVID-19 vaccines might be available, pointing to partnerships with federal and state health officials "to deliver the vaccine according to the rollout schedule."
Ohio has split its early vaccine supply between healthcare workers and nursing home residents, according to a December 22nd article in the Enquirer.
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Kroger Health has more than 2,200 pharmacies and 220 clinics in 35 states, according to the press release. Kroger Health employs around 22,000 doctors, including pharmacists, nurses, dietitians and technicians, according to the press release.
"The size and scope of our healthcare operations gives us a unique opportunity to efficiently simplify COVID-19 testing and immunize a large portion of the US population once approved vaccines become more widely available," said Colleen Lindholz, President of Kroger Health in the publication.
According to Lindholtz, Kroger has been providing diagnostic testing tools and support resources to patients, employees and other companies since the public health crisis began.
Kroger Health has been working closely with the federal departments of health and human services and defense, pharmaceutical companies, and other companies for the past few months to prepare for vaccination approval, according to the press release.
Priority populations, as defined by the federal and state governments, will initially focus on the US Food and Drug Administration approving vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, according to a press release.
In Alaska, Kroger Health begins delivering the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine to health care workers in partnership with the state in Anchorage and Juneau this week.
Kroger remains committed to ensuring that key workers, including Kroger employees, have priority access to the vaccine, according to the press release.
"We strongly encourage all customers and employees to receive the vaccine to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, and we will do everything we can to ensure they have access as soon as it becomes available," said Dr. Marc Watkins, Kroger Health's chief medical officer on release.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Kroger Co. Will Hire 1,000 to Deliver COVID-19 Vaccines to 35 States

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