In a recent statement updating its progress with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccinations, Walgreens explained that it has administered more than 3 million COVID-19 vaccinations at long-term care (LTC) facilities and among additional vulnerable populations based on the prioritizations of state and local jurisdictions.

Additionally, Walgreens noted that all COVID-19 vaccine first-dose clinics have been completed in all LTC facilities that selected the company for its vaccinations.
 
“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, in a press release. “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.”

In addition to the company’s involvement in vaccinations at LTC facilities, Walgreens also is part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, adminstering in-store vaccinations in 17 states and jurisdictions. As a part of the program, the company received 180,000 doses as its first weekly vaccine allotment, which they were able to administer within 3 days.

The weekly allocation of COVID-19 vaccine doses will increase to more than 480,000 doses starting on February 25, for administration in the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, Chicago, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, New York City, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Walgreens also continues to be involved in the administration of COVID-19 vaccine allocations in several states and jurisdictions through in-store vaccinations or off-site clinics. For those individuals who are eligible to receive the vaccine under the federal and state programs, they can schedule appointments by visiting Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine or by visiting their state department of health website.

Additionally, the company has launched the Vaccine Equity Initiative in order to increase vaccine access, provide education that addresses vaccine hesitancy, and develop community partnerships to provide vaccine services that meet the needs of individual communities.

Specifically, the CDC has highlighted how interrelated factors have limited vaccine access in communities of color, in which problems such as transportation issues and vaccine hesitancy have affected vaccination rates.
 
“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, in the press release.

Currently, Walgreens plans to address COVID-19 vaccine equity in the following ways: hosting off-site COVID-19 vaccination clinics in more than 100 underserved communities; working with civic leaders, advocacy groups, and faith-based organizations to offer educational programs that build trust in COVID-19 vaccine safety and efficacy; collaborating with Uber, the Chicago Urban League, and others to provide free rides in certain socially vulnerable communities in which transportation may be a barrier to vaccinations; organizing vaccine distribution so that approximately half of Walgreen stores participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program are in medically underserved areas and areas with a high social vulnerability index score; and expanding access to COVID-19 testing at more than 5000 Walgreens pharmacy locations by April 1, while ensuring that half of these sites are located in socially vulnerable areas.

REFERENCE
Walgreens Administers More than 3 million COVID-19 Vaccinations. Deerfield, IL: Walgreens; February 19, 2021. [email] Accessed February 19, 2021.