Hy-Vee has made COVID-19 vaccines available at all of its 270-plus pharmacy locations across its Midwestern market area.
West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee said yesterday that it began administering coronavirus immunizations this week in its eighth state — Wisconsin — via the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccinations, which allocates doses of the vaccine directly to pharmacies.
Previously, Hy-Vee had been a national partner in the federal program in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota, receiving COVID vaccines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The food and drug retailer said it’s also administering COVID shots in Illinois with vaccines supplied by the state.
“Hy-Vee’s rapid COVID-19 vaccine expansion has allowed us to reach key communities in both urban and rural areas across the Midwest,” Chairman, CEO and President Randy Edeker said in a statement. “Leveraging our team of more than 2,700 pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, our fleet of Hy-Vee Healthy You Mobiles and our strategic partnerships that we have built with local organizations, we have been able to make great strides in helping protect our communities from this pandemic.”
Hy-Vee is providing COVID-19 vaccinations at no charge to eligible patients who register for an appointment at hy-vee.com/covidvaccine. Those using the online scheduler also can make an appointment for a second dose — if receiving the two-shot Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine — when they schedule their first dose.
Overall, Hy-Vee operates more than 275 stores in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Along with its approximately 270 in-store and freestanding pharmacies, the chain has more than 70 in-store retail health clinics.
Hy-Vee noted that it’s also working with hundreds of facilities to organize workplace vaccination clinics for frontline essential workers and, as state eligibility allows, other workplace employees. Earlier this week, the company said that on Saturday in downtown Des Moines it plans to hold its largest community clinic to date, providing COVID-19 vaccines for 3,500 area residents.
Along with shots, Hy-Vee offers free COVID-19 lab testing (molecular PCR), rapid antigen COVID-19 testing and rapid antibody testing to check for past COVID-19 infection. Patients can visit hy-vee.com/covidtesting to schedule a test appointment.
And in another health care hiring push, Hy-Vee said it’s searching for more than 1,000 pharmacy technicians to help with COVID-19 testing and vaccine administration as more doses become available. Besides a range of competitive benefits, including a 10% employee discount, competitive pay and flexible scheduling, technicians who assist with the rapid antigen COVID-19 tests are eligible to receive a bonus, the company added.