Giant Food of Landover, Md., announced Tuesday the successful distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible Marylanders alongside Gov. Larry Hogan and the Maryland Department of Health as part of the pilot program launch.
The vaccine administrations, which began Jan. 25 for residents in phase 1A/B/C, resulted in zero waste as all doses distributed to Giant's 22 Maryland stores were administered within a one-week period. The pilot program announced by the state last month began with 35 retail pharmacies throughout the state at Giant, Walmart and Martin's locations.
“We've felt extremely fortunate to be selected for this collaboration with the state of Maryland, developing the best practices that will be the foundation for an expanded rollout of the vaccine,” said Paul Zvaleny, director of pharmacy operations at Giant Food. “Retailers like Giant, with many trusted pharmacy locations throughout the state, have a great responsibility and opportunity to help our communities tremendously. We are proud to report zero wastage of the vaccines distributed to our stores, and in one week we were able to administer all of the doses that were allocated to our teams.”
On Jan. 27, Gov. Hogan visited the District Heights Giant pharmacy in Prince George's County to speak about the pilot vaccination program and efforts to further reach disadvantaged communities.
“Along with the Biden administration, we are rapidly expanding the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to the neighborhood pharmacies that people know and trust. We are also prioritizing pharmacies in underserved areas to help ensure equitable access,” said Hogan. “I want to thank our partners at Giant Food for stepping up to vaccinate the vulnerable, and being such efficient and effective administrators of these vaccines."
Giant continues to work to ensure equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to the communities that have been most negatively impacted by the pandemic, the retailer said. To decrease barriers to access, Giant has leveraged its close community partnerships that have been able to assist with identifying populations that are most in need of receiving the vaccine.
Giant's efforts continue to be aligned with the Maryland Department of Health's guidance and directives and seek to target individuals that the state's department of health has identified as priority. In accordance with federal guidelines, the State of Maryland is in Phase 1C of the vaccine distribution plan, including residents 65 and over, as well as critical workers in high-risk settings. Giant is continuing to work closely with local authorities to secure additional doses for distribution to these qualifying individuals and future groups.
Giant Food, a division of Ahold Delhaize USA, operates 164 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia.