Big Y Foods plans to hold mobile clinics for COVID-19 shots over the next two weeks in the parking lots of selected stores in Massachusetts.
The Springfield, Mass.-based regional grocer said the clinics will be held Thursdays through Saturdays this week and next week in the parking area of its Big Y World Class Market supermarkets in West Springfield, Chicopee, Worcester, Greenfield, Ludlow and Westfield, Mass.
Big Y noted that it has partnered with the state of Massachusetts to provide the free vaccinations to residents on a walk-up basis. Both the two-shot Pfizer/BioNTech and one-shot Johnson & Johnson are being offered.
Those receiving the Pfizer vaccine will be able to return to the Big Y store where they were inoculated three weeks later to get their second dose, as the grocer has scheduled Thursday-Saturday clinics in August to provide the follow-up shots.
People receiving their first shot at a Big Y mobile clinic also will be given a $25 store gift card, the retailer said, adding that the incentive is funded by the state.
So far, Big Y pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have administered almost 40,000 COVID-19 immunizations since the chain began offering them in January, Big Y reported. The retailer currently provides COVID vaccines without an appointment at all 33 Big Y Pharmacy locations in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Customers can access a COVID vaccination scheduling tool on the Big Y website.
“We are proud to partner with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in order to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to our customers,” Charles D’Amour, president and CEO of Big Y Foods, said in a statement. “It is our hope that our customers take advantage of this convenience while also receiving a $25 gift card to Big Y.”
Via its membership in the Topco Associates network, Big Y participates in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination, which supplies coronavirus vaccines directly to pharmacies nationwide. As of July 14, the nearly 40,000 pharmacies participating in the program had provided 99 million shots, accounting for 58% of total U.S. doses and 59% of all adolescent doses, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores reported. Also, 9,900 pharmacy pop-up clinics administered 2.9 million doses to communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, NACDS said.
Through July 22, 56.4% of the U.S. population had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and 48.8% had been fully vaccinated, with 339.8 million vaccines administered of the 392 million delivered by manufacturers, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 68.6% of Americans ages 18 and older had gotten at least one shot (59.7% fully vaccinated), while 65.9% of those ages 12 and older have received at least one dose (57.1% fully vaccinated).
Overall, Big Y Foods operates 85 stores in Massachusetts and Connecticut, including 71 Big Y World Class Market supermarkets, one Fresh Acres Market grocery store, one Table & Vine Fine Wines & Liquors store, and 12 Big Y Express fuel and convenience locations.