How grocery stores, retail pharmacies are prepping for COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Retail pharmacies and supermarkets are buying freezers, training staff and hiring more employees in preparation to administer COVID-19 vaccines when one is authorized, The Wall Street Journal reports. 

HHS has signed contracts with dozens of grocery and pharmacy chains to provide vaccines once one is approved. Food City, which runs more than 100 pharmacies in the South, has purchased 30 medical-grade freezers for $500 each to store vaccines, the Journal reported. The chain also bought devices to monitor freezer temperatures and dozens of containers to store used syringes. 

Albertsons, which owns the grocery store chains Jewel-Osco and Vons, told the Journal it's coordinating with government agencies around the country to build cold-storage capacity for vaccines that need to be stored at low temperatures. 

Several chains told the Journal they're training staff to administer vaccines and creating online appointment scheduling services for customers. Many supermarkets already have freezers available and pharmacists who are trained to perform immunizations.

Some supermarkets are also looking to hire more employees, especially pharmacy technicians, who HHS authorized to administer COVID-19 vaccines in October.

More articles on pharmacy:
Moderna to file for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine
AstraZeneca may run extra COVID-19 vaccine trial amid scrutiny over results
Canada bans export of some drugs to US


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