Supercenter retailer Meijer has topped 1 million COVID-19 vaccines administered through its pharmacies’ in-store clinics.
In announcing the milestone on Monday, Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer also said it’s now launching a walk-in coronavirus vaccination program at all of its pharmacy locations.
Meijer, a Federal Retail Pharmacy Program partner for Michigan, kicked off its COVID vaccine clinics in mid-January. Since then, the retailer has conducted thousands of in-store vaccine clinics, as well as community-based off-site clinics, across all six states in its Midwestern market area. The company also has participated in a mass vaccination event at Detroit’s Ford Field. Coronavirus shots became available at all Meijer stores in late March.
“The 1 million vaccine milestone is a tremendous achievement by our incredibly hard-working pharmacy teams,” Meijer President and CEO Rick Keyes said in a statement.
“When the vaccine rollout began, we were focused on moving as quickly as possible to keep our communities safe,” Keyes explained. “Achieving this number in just over three months is a true demonstration of the focus and tenacity of the Meijer team members involved in this important initiative.”
With the national ramp-up COVID-19 vaccine supply, Meijer said it can now offer the immunizations — the two-shot Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines — on a walk-up basis at stores. Each store will have at least 100 doses per week for customers to get the vaccine at their convenience, and shots will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis, the retailer said.
“I’m very pleased we are now entering into this phase of the vaccine initiative,” commented Jason Beauch, vice president of pharmacy at Meijer. “Our teams have worked so hard to vaccinate a very large number of people in a relatively short amount of time. The ability to offer the vaccines on a walk-up basis at every Meijer store demonstrates we are getting closer to ensuring everyone has the ability to get vaccinated.”
Although a limited number of vaccines will be available on a walk-in basis at stores, people interested in getting vaccinated can still register online for an appointment by texting “COVID” to the number 75049 or signing up at clinic.meijer.com, Meijer said. Overall, the chain operates 256 supercenters and grocery stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.
Through the morning of April 26, 42.5% of the U.S. population had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, with 28.9% fully immunized, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data. Among adults, 53.9% had received at least one dose, with 37% fully vaccinated. Overall, 230.8 million of the 290.7 million vaccines delivered by manufacturers had been administered.