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·         Major US grocery chains begin rollout of Covid-19 vaccines

·         Covid vaccinations offer CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid a chance to showcase how drugstores have changed



Major US grocery chains begin rollout of Covid-19 vaccines


Liz Daunton, Consumer & Society 

January 11, 2021


In the US, there have been an unprecedented number of deaths from Covid-19. Although the FDA has now approved the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, some states are struggling with the rollout process, leaving many Americans wondering when they will be vaccinated.


Now, according to various announcements, the largest grocery chains in the country will join the effort, hoping to speed up the process with a huge program that focuses on high-risk groups.


Which chains are offering the vaccination?


The logistics of the rollout differs between states. However, a number of major grocery chains have already started administering shots and have their own plans. These include:




America’s leading retailer Walmart has already begun vaccinating its own pharmacists. It will shortly be rolling out a distribution effort focusing on essential workers and older citizens. Consumers can keep an eye on the company’s plans on its website.




Albertsons, which includes Safeway, Pavilions, Acme, and other stores, started its distribution efforts in Alaska in December. It will continue to provide vaccines at its in-store pharmacies and other non-store sites where necessary. These can be booked online here.




The Kroger Company, which includes various stores like Fred Meyer, Fry’s, QFC, and Ralphs, hasn’t published an official vaccination plan yet. But, it will be posting updates on its website.




Publix is the third largest grocery retailer in the US. The company has a limited number of vaccines and are currently preparing to make appointments on an online system. Consumers can get alerts and updates on their website.


Who will be vaccinated first? ...





Covid vaccinations offer CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid a chance to showcase how drugstores have changed


o   Many driving forces behind drugstore visits have faded or flipped on their heads during the pandemic. More consumers get prescriptions delivered to the home or are skipping the doctor’s office and don’t need over-the-counter medications for colds or the flu.

o   CVS Health, Walgreens and Rite Aid have looked for new ways to drive growth and compete with big-box retailers and pure-play online pharmacies.

o   CVS and Walgreens are adding more health-care services to their stores.

o   Rite Aid is focusing on wellness, such as carrying more natural products like sleep remedies and essential oils.


Melissa Repko, CNBC

Jan 10 2021


CVS Health, Walgreens and Rite Aid are getting ready to administer Covid vaccinations in the months ahead, and this effort will give the three largest drugstore chains a chance to show off the work that’s been underway to revamp their businesses and respond to huge changes in consumer behavior.


The three drugstores have long been places where Americans stock up on shampoo, refill prescriptions and browse the aisles for a cold or flu remedy. During the pandemic, however, many of the driving forces behind drugstore trips faded. More purchases were made online. Fewer people have needed to buy over-the-counter cold and flu medications, as they wear face masks and social distance. Some have skipped doctor’s appointments, leading to fewer new prescriptions to fill.


For the companies, Covid vaccines offer an opportunity to reach new customers. CVS and Walgreens are administering shots at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities and plan to finish the first round by Jan. 25. All three chains plan to offer the shots at their stores, when they’re available, which could boost vaccine-related revenue and drive foot traffic that leads to other purchases. These trips will be a chance for the companies to prove to shoppers they’re still relevant, while investors will be looking to gauge their growth potential.


Drugstores are fending off challengers that have encroached their turf. Big-box stores like Target have gained market share during the global health crisis, as they offer one-stop shopping with everything from deodorant to pajamas. Amazon, which is eating into drugstores’ front-of-store sales, launched a pharmacy business in November with a savings program and free two-day shipping for Prime members. And Walmart is opening a growing network of health clinics next to its big-box stores, which could steal business from CVS and Walgreens’ medical clinics.


Brian Tanquilut, a healthcare services research analyst for Jefferies, said each company has had to...