Wakefern Food Corp.’s ShopRite chain has joined a pharmacy partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help administer COVID-19 vaccinations.
Under the Pharmacy Partnership Strategy for COVID-19 Vaccination Program, HHS and CDC will work with selected ShopRite Pharmacy locations to widen access to coronavirus vaccines in the communities they serve, Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern said Monday. The company noted that ShopRite pharmacies also are working with state and local jurisdictions to participate in earlier phases of the campaign that aim to reach priority populations, including health care and frontline workers.
The federal initiative is expected coronavirus vaccine coverage across 60% of pharmacies in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“We’re proud to take part in this groundbreaking public health campaign, which could significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Jeffrey Mondelli, vice president of pharmacy, health and beauty at Wakefern, said in a statement. “The federal program is aiming to mass immunize the population throughout the spring of 2021, and our pharmacists are up to the challenge and ready to help our communities.”
A retailer-owned food cooperative, Wakefern is the logistics, distribution and merchandising arm for ShopRite, which includes about 280 supermarkets located in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland.
Millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses have begun shipping and being administered within the past week from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. Coronavirus vaccinations also are upcoming from AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Novovax, among others.
Information on ShopRite pharmacies that will distribute the vaccine will be provided at a later date, Wakefern reported.
“We are proud to partner with the CDC and HHS to offer the vaccine to our shoppers at our participating ShopRite Pharmacy locations once it is available,” Mondelli added. “By working with these federal agencies and a network of pharmacy partners, we can help rapidly expand access to COVID-19 vaccines in the neighborhoods served by our ShopRite Pharmacy stores. This is the next step in helping to revitalize our communities.”
Other chain and community pharmacies partnering with HHS on the COVID-19 vaccine access program include Ahold Delhaize USA, Albertsons Cos., Costco Wholesale, CVS, Good Neighbor Pharmacy (AmerisourceBergen), Health Mart (McKesson), H-E-B, Hy-Vee, The Kroger Co., Medicine Shoppe/Leader (Cardinal Health), Meijer, Publix Super Markets, Southeastern Grocers, Walgreens and Walmart. A host of regional food and drug retailers also are serving as federal pharmacy partners for coronavirus vaccinations via Topco Associates, including Acme Fresh Market, Big Y Foods, Brookshire Grocery, Coborn’s, Hartig Drug, King Kullen, Food City, Ingles Markets, Price Chopper, Raley’s, Save Mart Cos., SpartanNash, Tops Friendly Markets, ShopRite, Wegmans Food Markets and Weis Markets.
*Editor's Note: ShopRite updated the name of the federal COVID-19 vaccine program in which it's participating. The retailer is not participating in the long-term care COVID-19 vaccination program.