According to the information for media, the new tool can manage more than 250,000 requests daily and will reflect the amount of vaccine doses confirmed within Kroger’s system while allowing visitors to check vaccine eligibility and create appointments as availability of the vaccine increases.
Customers will also have the ability to book appointments for both their first and second dose at the same time. The rollout of Kroger Health’s new vaccine scheduling platform reflects the company’s commitment to the health and safety of its associates, customers and communities and follows the company’s three-pronged pandemic health response: testing, vaccine administration and supportive care services.
President Biden’s Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership
As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines, starting on February 11, those eligible for the vaccine will have the opportunity to be vaccinated at select pharmacies across the country through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination. This program is a public-private partnership with 21 national pharmacy partners and networks of independent pharmacies representing over 40,000 pharmacy locations nationwide (listed below). It is a key component of the Administration’s National Strategy to expand equitable access to vaccines for the American public
“As the first phase of this program launches, select retail pharmacies nationwide will receive limited vaccine supply to vaccinate priority groups at no cost. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) worked with states to select initial pharmacy partners based on a number of factors including their ability to reach some of the populations most at risk for severe illness from COVID-19,” – according to the information from The White House.
As one of the selected retailer pharmacies for President Biden’s Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership, Kroger Health is dedicated to providing care to associates and customers as well as the communities the company serves. As of Feb. 16, 2021, Kroger Health has administered more than 380,000 COVID-19 vaccines in 25 states to essential health care workers, skilled-nursing facilities, elderly populations, educators and eligible associates. Kroger Health is now receiving and administering vaccines at 1,300 of its 2,200 family of pharmacies. If all pharmacy locations begin to receive doses of the vaccine, Kroger Health could administer an average of nearly 500,000 vaccinations per week.
Kroger Health Investments
Kroger Health has also invested in the following initiatives to streamline and encourage vaccination:
- Vaccine Support Call Center: Concurrent with its scheduling tool rollout, Kroger Health’s COVID-19 vaccine support call center has partnered with IBM Watson to create an AI-powered seamless phone experience for patients.
- Scheduling Platform Security: Alongside Kroger Health’s new scheduling tool, Kroger’s technology and digital team has implemented advanced security measures to deter bot activity within the platform, ensuring maximum appointment availability.
- Kroger Associate Vaccine Payment: Earlier this month, the Kroger Family of Companies announced it would provide a one-time payment of $100 to all associates who receive the full manufacturer-recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Kroger Health’s priority is the safety of our customers, associates and communities,” said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health. “Thanks to our incredible team of health professionals and technology experts, we’ve been able to streamline the vaccine rollout process across our family of pharmacies during these ever-changing times.
As more vaccines become available nationwide, our pharmacies and clinics will be ready and able to administer thousands of doses to our communities every day. Our new online scheduling tool and improved call center experience will allow us to easily scale to meet demand once more vaccine doses are available to Kroger Health.”