Retailers Rally Together to Accelerate Vaccination Distribution
UNITED STATES - Retailers have been standing at the ready since COVID-19 vaccines began rolling out in December. As many faced challenges in the distribution of the vaccine, industry stalwarts like Walmart, Costco, and Amazon have since enacted their own logistical strategies.
“Walmart and Sam’s Club operate more than 5,000 pharmacies in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, many of which serve underserved communities and the heart of rural America,” said Dr. Cheryl Pegus, Executive Vice President of Health & Wellness at Walmart. “With 150 million people passing through our doors each week, we’re in a unique position to reach people where they already shop. We’re also a federal pharmacy partner and can accept federal allocation of doses in all our Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies.”
In its company statement, Walmart said that it expects to deliver 10–13 million doses of the vaccine per month. The company will be offering vaccinations every day of the week, made possible by training thousands of pharmacy employees, building a new digital scheduling system, and partnering directly with state and federal agencies. Furthermore, Walmart will be providing vaccination services at third-party locations like churches, stadiums, and youth centers.
In addition to Walmart, big-box names like Costco are also rolling out vaccine distribution strategies. According to The Washington Post, Costco is one of many who will be partnering with labor and health officials at the Washington State Vaccine Command and Coordination Center, working to surpass the state’s goal of 45,000 vaccinations a day. Costco specifically will be leveraging its pharmacies to assist with delivery.
E-commerce giant Amazon is also rolling out a plan of its own.
“We are prepared to leverage our operations, information technology, and communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration’s vaccination efforts,” said the CEO of Amazon’s Worldwide Consumer division, Dave Clark, in a letter to President Biden. “Our scale allows us to make a meaningful impact immediately in the fight against COVID-19, and we stand ready to assist you in this effort.”
Amazon’s letter went on to note that the company has an agreement in place with a licensed third-party occupational health care provider to administer vaccines on-site at its facilities.
As the industry continues to get essential workers vaccinated, ANUK will be sure to keep you up to date on the latest.