Walgreens recently announced that the company already, has provided more than 3 million COVID-19 vaccinations across long-term care facilities, as well as additional vulnerable populations prioritized by state and local jurisdictions. Additionally, the company has completed COVID-19 vaccine first-dose clinics in all long-term care facilities that selected Walgreens as a vaccine provider.
“COVID-19 has had a disproportionate and tragic impact on residents and staff in these facilities and Walgreens pharmacy teams have stepped up to support this significant undertaking and protect those who greatly need the vaccine,” said John Standley, president, Walgreens. “We have rapidly accelerated vaccine administration in long-term care facilities over the last month, and will continue to expand access to vaccines in our pharmacies as supply becomes available.”
Vaccine Equity Initiative
Walgreens is launching the Vaccine Equity Initiative to increase access to vaccinations, provide education to address vaccine hesitancy and create partnerships that best meet the needs of each community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points to many interrelated factors that hinder vaccine access for communities of color, including vaccine hesitancy and lack of access to transportation.
“Walgreens understands more needs to be done to reduce health disparities and ensure equitable access to COVID vaccines,” said Carlos Cubia, senior vice president and chief global diversity officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance. “Our pharmacy team members reflect the communities we serve and have a deep understanding of the barriers to care among those most impacted by the pandemic. This initiative, combined with our community presence, allows us to create tailored solutions that can help to improve the health of communities.”
In-Store Walgreens Vaccinations
Walgreens began in-store vaccinations in 17 states and jurisdictions as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program on February 12. The company administered nearly all 180,000 doses of the first weekly vaccine allotment within three days.
The company take many efforts, to make COVID-19 vaccination equity, including:
- Hosting off-site COVID-19 vaccination clinics in more than 100 underserved communities across the nation;
- Working collaboratively with civic leaders, advocacy groups, and faith-based organizations to offer educational programs that build trust in COVID vaccine safety and efficacy and host vaccination events;
- Advancing Walgreens and Uber’s efforts in collaboration with the Chicago Urban League and other partners, starting with educational outreach to grow confidence in COVID-19 vaccines as a precursor to providing free rides in socially vulnerable communities where transportation may be a barrier to getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Community partners will distribute vouchers for free or discounted rides, and pilots will start in Chicago, Atlanta, El Paso and Houston and scale nationally as vaccine inventories expand;
- Distributing nearly half of the vaccine allocation as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program to Walgreens stores located in Medical Underserved Areas (MUAs) and areas with a high social vulnerability index score;
- Expanding access to COVID testing at more than 5,000 Walgreens pharmacy locations by April 1, with more than half of sites located in socially vulnerable areas.
“Walgreens also continues to assist several states and jurisdictions with the administration of their COVID-19 vaccine allocations through in-store vaccinations or off-site clinics. While supply remains limited, individuals eligible to receive the vaccine under the federal and state programs can schedule appointments by visiting Walgreens or their state department of health website.” – the company said.