In this file:
· Kroger won’t require workers to be vaccinated. Grocery chain serves 11 million customers per day
· Ralphs gets under way with COVID-19 vaccinations
Kroger won’t require workers to be vaccinated. Grocery chain serves 11 million customers per day
By Alexander Coolidge, WXIX FOX 19 (OH)
January 12, 2021
CINCINNATI - Kroger is encouraging its workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 but is non-committal about requiring the shots once they are widely available.
“At this time, we’re strongly encouraging our shoppers and associates to get vaccinated,” Tim Massa, Kroger’s senior vice president of human resources and labor relations, told The Enquirer.
According to our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer, when pressed if Cincinnati-based Kroger was considering mandating vaccination in the future, Massa repeated his previous answer.
The nation’s largest supermarket chain, Kroger’s nearly 2,800 stores nationwide serve more than 11 million customers a day.
Company officials didn’t say how they would reassure customers who might be worried store associates weren’t required to vaccinated.
Roughly 6,000 Kroger associates who work the grocer’s pharmacies and health clinics have been vaccinated. So far Kroger workers in Alaska, Arkansas, California, Texas and West Virginia have gotten the shots – but none yet in Cincinnati.
The union representing Kroger’s associates, the United Food & Commercial Workers International, has pressed federal officials to make the vaccine available to its membership as soon as possible. It hasn’t commented on whether vaccination should be mandated for workers...
Ralphs gets under way with COVID-19 vaccinations
Kroger Co. chain starts with health care workers in hard-hit Southern California
Russell Redman, Supermarket News
Jan 11, 2021
With coronavirus infections and deaths soaring in Southern California, The Kroger Co.’s Ralphs supermarket chain has begun administering COVID-19 vaccines to health care personnel.
Los Angeles-based Ralphs said Friday it has obtained a supply of the Moderna vaccine and is providing immunizations to its pharmacy staff and other health care professionals at its 50 pharmacies in California’s Los Angeles and Riverside Counties. Plans call for Ralphs Pharmacy locations in San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties and the City of Long Beach to get allocations of the COVID-19 vaccine this week.
Available at no cost, the vaccinations currently are only being offered to people eligible for the first tier of Phase 1A of county public health COVID-19 vaccine guidelines, according to Ralphs. Those seeking a shot must first complete a disclosure form indicating they’re eligible for the Phase 1A distribution.
“Our most urgent priority throughout this pandemic has been to provide a safe environment for our associates and customers while meeting our societal obligation to provide open stores and access to fresh, affordable food,” Dr. Linh Lee, director of pharmacy, health and wellness at Ralphs, said in a statement. “We are pleased that, through our advocacy efforts, our frontline associates have been moved to Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution.”
Ralphs noted that it will follow guidance from local health departments on vaccine allocation for the general public. The retailer said it plans to roll out the COVID vaccination to all 77 pharmacies in its 188 stores across Southern California and the Central Coast as soon it becomes available via local health authorities.
“We are confident in the safety of the vaccine based on the thorough clinical trials and assurances from the Food & Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Lee added...
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