Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co. Family of Companies, on Tuesday administered its 10 millionth dose of COVID-19 vaccine, including booster shots. The announcement comes as the Omicron variant surges across the country and Kroger Health continues to expand its options for the detection, prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
"As Kroger Health reaches the critical milestone of administering our 10 millionth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, we lift up our amazing associates across Kroger Health's pharmacies and clinics who continue to inspire through their dedication to providing best-in-class patient care,” said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health. “Our commitment to filling patient prescriptions as well as vaccinating patients the past two years is remarkable as the healthcare industry faces significant challenges. We are tremendously encouraged by our team's ability to continue helping America heal and recover from the impacts of the pandemic."
Cincinnati-based Kroger, the nation’s largest supermarket chain, operates nearly 2,800 stores in 35 states, which include 2,270 pharmacies and more than 200 retail health clinics.
Over the last 24 months in its fight against COVID, Kroger Health has:
• Partnered with both federal and state governments to facilitate the administration of vaccines and tests to eligible persons as quickly as both resources became available, leveraging the retail chain’s pharmacies, clinics and team of healthcare experts.
• Joined the Biden Administration on several initiatives to accelerate COVID-19 testing and vaccination in America, including the $5 million #CommunityImmunity Giveaway and becoming only one of three national partners to reduce pricing and make at-home, rapid COVID-19 tests available to customers at cost from September to December 2021 (100 days). In stores with pharmacy locations, Kroger Health offers Abbott's Binax Now, and in non-pharmacy stores, Kroger Health offers Quidel's QuickVue. Additionally, Kroger Health has recently introduced a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) home collection kit enabled by Gravity Diagnostics in select stores. This kit offers the convenience of at-home sample collection with a PCR test performed at a CLIA-Certified, CAP-Accredited laboratory. Kroger Health is currently adding other test manufacturers to help increase product availability.
• Hosted drive-through testing sites and vaccination clinics across the country to improve accessibility in addition to forming partnerships to provide individuals with transportation to vaccination appointments.
• Administered 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to date, through the initial series as well as booster shots for all eligible age populations in alignment with guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Kroger Health continues to administer and increase the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine its locations.
• Supported the administration of vaccines to associates across the organization, enabling associates to receive a one-time payment of $100 once fully vaccinated.
"Our administration of over 10 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and our team's ability to quickly respond to updates in CDC guidance regarding vaccinations and other new developments have been essential tools in our fight against the virus," said Dr. Marc Watkins, Kroger's chief medical officer. "Vaccines remain the most effective method of preventing and reducing the impact of COVID-19, and with the recent release of multiple therapeutic options for those who contract the virus, we remain optimistic."
As of Jan. 10, the Centers for Disease Control reports that there have been 61.7 million cases of in the United States, after hitting the 50-million milestone less than a month ago, on Dec. 14. There have been more than 800,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the country. Of the total population aged 5 years and over, 79.2% have received at least one vaccination.