Nov 29, 2020 - Health

Pharmacies add freezers, staff for vaccine


Photo: Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Grocers and pharmacies are adding freezers, thermometers and medical equipment to their inventories as they prepare to be major distributors of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: Dozens of grocery and pharmacy chains have signed with the Department of Health and Human Services to provide the vaccine as part of Operation Warp Speed. The U.S. could be set to distribute the vaccine starting in mid-to-late December, with approval from the FDA potentially weeks away.

  • The providers will get doses directly from the CDC and will give them to customers at no cost, per WSJ. Fees for administering the vaccine will go to public or private insurers, with the government paying for uninsured people.

Grocers say they are well-positioned to provide vaccines because many people live in close proximity to their stores, per WSJ. They have typically provided vaccinations for other illnesses.

  • Supermarkets have historically provided medical services as a way to bring in customers.
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