Giant Food has announced that all vaccinations recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices are once again available at its 153 in-store pharmacies across Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia.1

According to a report released by the CDC, immunization rates had declined following the pandemic spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), making the opening of pharmacies such as those at Giant Food an important step toward raising immunization rates.2

On March 13, 2020, the United States had declared a national state of emergency to control the spread of COVID-19, with public health response measures such as social distancing and quarantining enacted. Specifically, the hiatus of all non-essential services was put into place by the CDC in order to mitigate the pandemic’s effects on the US population, which affected the administration of vaccines across the country.1

At the Giant Food pharmacies, the vaccinations that will be available for administration to customers include those that provide protection against pneumonia, shingles, tetanus, hepatitis, human papillomavirus, and influenza, although the influenza vaccine will become available in August 2020. All vaccinations offered at Giant Food pharmacies will be administered by certified in-store pharmacists and will not require appointments to be made in advance.1

“Now it is more critical than ever for individuals to take preventative measures to protect themselves and their communities from sickness, and staying up-to-date with recommended vaccines is an important first step,” said Paul Zvaleny, Giant Food’s director of Pharmacy Operations, in a press release. “After pausing non-urgent services in April, we are looking forward to offering vaccinations to our customers and continuing to do our part to keep our communities healthy while following social distancing guidelines and strict safety procedures.”1

In the press release, the company made note of the additional health and safety policies that will be enacted at the pharmacies while administering immunizations, such as maintaining social distancing measures; equipping associates with personal protective equipment consisting of face masks, face shields, and gloves; increasing disinfection procedures between vaccine administrations; and following additional screening processes for patients.1

The company will also continue to offer medication delivery or curbside pick-up services in order to support minimal physical contact and travel for customers, allowing for the promotion of safe practices within the community during the ongoing management of the COVID-19 pandemic.1

Furthermore, Giant Food pharmacists will be available for free consultations to support patients’ management of allergy symptoms this season. These consultations will include recommendations for appropriate OTC and prescription products in order to manage symptoms.1

REFERENCES
  1. Giant Food Announces Vaccinations Once Again Available at All Pharmacies [news release]. Washington D.C.: Giant Food; June 16, 2020. giantfood.com/news-and-media/article-6-16-20/. Accessed June 17, 2020.
  2. Bramer CA, Kimmins LM, Swanson R, et al. Decline in Child Vaccination Coverage During the COVID-19 Pandemic — Michigan Care Improvement Registry, May 2016–May 2020. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). 2020;69(20):630–631. cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6920e1.htm.