Giant Food and SpartanNash have stepped up coronavirus safety measures for walk-in vaccinations at their supermarket pharmacies.
Landover, Md.-based Giant said it restarted immunizations on June 16 at all of its 153 in-store pharmacies after suspending all nonessential services because of the COVID-19 outbreak and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All vaccines are administered by Giant’s certified pharmacists and don’t require an appointment.
“Now it is more critical than ever for individuals to take preventative measures to protect themselves and their communities from sickness, and staying up-to-date with recommended vaccines is an important first step,” Paul Zvaleny, director of pharmacy operations at Giant, said in a statement. “After pausing non-urgent services in April, we are looking forward to offering vaccinations to our customers and continuing to do our part to keep our communities healthy while following social distancing guidelines and strict safety procedures.”
All Giant pharmacies also have enacted additional health and safety policies for immunizations, including maintaining social distancing, providing associates with personal protective equipment (face masks, face shields and gloves), increasing disinfection procedures between vaccine administrations, and following additional screening processes for patients.
Vaccinations available at Giant pharmacies, based on state regulations, include pneumonia, shingles, tetanus, hepatitis, human papillomavirus (HPV) and influenza. Giant said its flu shots are slated to become available in August. The Ahold Delhaize USA chain also has encouraged pharmacy patients to use its prescription drug delivery or curbside pickup services to minimize contact and travel. Overall, Giant operates 163 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia.
Meanwhile, SpartanNash has bolstered coronavirus protection practices at its 88 company-owned pharmacies in seven Midwestern states to allow customers to more safely receive CDC-recommended vaccines.
The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based grocery wholesaler and retailer said customers requesting vaccinations first need to complete a COVID-19 screening questionnaire and immunization screening form. The pharmacist will then administer a contact-free temperature reading, and both the pharmacist and the customer must wear a medical-grade face mask, which will be provided by SpartanNash.
And in accordance with SpartanNash’s current coronavirus safety and sanitation procedures, pharmacists also must wear gloves and a face shield. The vaccination area, too, will be cleaned in between each customer’s immunization.
SpartanNash pharmacies are located inside Family Fare, D&W Fresh Market, Martin’s Super Markets, VG’s Grocery, Family Fresh Market, Forest Hills Foods and Econofoods supermarkets in Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Immunizations are offered by appointment and on a walk-in basis and, depending on location, available vaccines include flu, shingles (Shingrix), hepatitis A/B, Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), meningococcal, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), HPV, Prevnar (pneumococcal 13) and Pneumovax (pneumococcal 23).
“Our pharmacies continue to adapt to best respond to our customers’ needs during these uncertain times,” commented Lori Raya, executive vice president and chief merchandising and marketing officer at SpartanNash. “These additional safety measures are in line with CDC guidelines and are another way we can provide the personalized care and vaccinations our customers need while ensuring we do all we can to protect them and our pharmacy associates’ well-being and safety.”
SpartanNash noted that, since the onset of the pandemic, its pharmacies have adjusted operations to enhance patient safety. Measures have included free same-day prescription delivery and reserved pharmacy hours for older adults, pregnant women and immunocompromised customers in Michigan.
Free prescription delivery began on April 1 and is available for customers within a 10-mile radius of their local SpartanNash-owned store, with delivery times varying by location. To promote social distancing, all deliveries are contact free, SpartanNash said. The prescription is placed at the customer’s door, and the delivery driver steps back and calls the customer to let him or her know their order has arrived. The driver then visually confirms that the customer has retrieved the package.
SpartanNash currently operates 155 corporate-owned supermarkets in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Besides Family Fare, D&W, Martin’s, VG’s, Family Fresh, Forest Hills and Econofoods, the company’s retail grocery banners include Dan’s Supermarket, No Frills Supermarkets, Pick’n Save, Sun Mart Foods, Supermercado Nuestra Familia and Valu Land.
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