Stop & Shop and Publix Super Markets have made COVID-19 vaccinations available across their market areas, and the head of Hy-Vee has given input to the Biden administration on ways to reach more communities with vaccines.
Ahold Delhaize USA’s Stop & Shop yesterday announced that its more than 250 pharmacies in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey are now providing same-day coronavirus immunizations. The Quincy, Mass.-based retailer said customers can still schedule an appointment for a COVID shot on its website, but appointments are no longer required.
Stop & Shop pharmacies are offering either the two-dose Moderna or one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Walk-in vaccination availability will depend on supply levels in each store, the company said.
The chainwide expansion came after Stop & Shop announced the launch of walk-in COVID vaccines at 14 of its pharmacies in New York City (including in the boroughs of Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island) and at 14 pharmacies in Rhode Island.
“Stop & Shop has been proud to support our communities throughout the pandemic, most recently by administering the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Katie Thornell, Director of Pharmacy Operations at Stop & Shop. “We are prepared to continue helping members of the community protect themselves against COVID-19 by allowing all customers 18 and older the convenience of walking into any of our pharmacies to receive their immunization without needing to schedule an appointment in advance.”
Publix began providing coronavirus shots across its Southeastern market area in April and plans to start accepting walk-ins next week.
Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix said Friday that it plans to accept walk-ins for COVID-19 vaccinations at all of its 1,000-plus pharmacies starting on May 10.
The shots are available to customers ages 18 and older, and those getting inoculated via a walk-in can choose between the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, depending on supply, according to Publix. The grocer said it’s still recommending appointments “for the most efficient vaccination experience” as well as to ensure that customers’ preferred vaccine is available.
Publix began providing COVID-19 vaccines in all seven Southeastern states where it operates in April, when it opened its online reservation system to customers in Tennessee, Alabama and North Carolina. The company passed the 1 million mark in coronavirus shots administered in mid-March and then reached 1.5 million vaccinations in early April. Then in mid-April, Publix said its online reservation system will remain continuously open to book vaccine appointments.
Hy-Vee made COVID shots available at all of its 270-plus pharmacies across its Midwestern trade area at the beginning of April. Yesterday, Chairman, CEO and President Randy Edeker participated in a call with Dr. Rochelle Walensk, director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 response coordinator and counselor to President Biden, to discuss the administration’s future rollout plans for the vaccine retailers’ efforts to help underserved populations get vaccinated.
West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee noted that its fleet of Hy-Vee Healthy You Mobiles has traveled to large and small communities in the Midwest to expand access to the vaccine. The food and drug retailer also has also used on-site interpreters and translated documents and signs to help overcome language barriers.
In addition, Hy-Vee said it’s hosting pop-up vaccination clinics at community events, noting that this avenue expands COVID vaccine access by meeting people — including neighborhoods with limited access to health care — where they plan to be.
“Our mission is to make lives easier, healthier and happier, and that mission has never been more important than now,” Edeker (left) said in a statement. “Throughout this pandemic, local pharmacies have become the hub of neighborhood health care. With the help of regional pharmacy teams like Hy-Vee and our community partners, we’ve been able to help protect some of our most vulnerable populations against this virus.”
Hy-Vee reported that, before it gained access to the COVID-19 vaccine, its home state of Iowa was 48th in percentage of U.S. vaccines administered; today, Iowa is fifth.
Through the morning of May 7, 45.3% of the U.S. population had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and 33.4% had been fully vaccinated, with 254.8 million vaccines administered of the 327.1 million delivered by manufacturers, according to CDC data. Among seniors, 83.3% had received at least one dose (70.6% fully vaccinated), while 57.4% of Americans ages 18 and older had gotten at least one shot (42.6% fully vaccinated).