Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos. pharmacy and health team has administered its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and is preparing for high consumer demand for immunizations through a broad series of measures – including hiring additional pharmacy staff nationwide, launching a new website with important information for the public and maintaining high safety standards in its pharmacies and stores.
“Throughout the pandemic, customers have trusted our pharmacy teams to play a critical role in maintaining their health and wellness,” said Omer Gajial, SVP of Albertsons Cos. pharmacy and health. “We are preparing and expanding our trained pharmacy teams to handle the unprecedented demand and administer the vaccine safely and efficiently to the communities we serve as it becomes available.”
Working closely with federal, state and local partners, Albertsons Cos. pharmacy teams began administering doses of the vaccine for Phase 1A recipients on Dec. 18 at a clinic in Alaska, staffed by Carrs Safeway pharmacists. The company has received doses in eight other states for this critical first phase, and it anticipates more supply is on the way.
Albertsons Cos. is continuing to work closely with public health authorities to target specific priority groups and identify the most logical location for administering vaccines – whether that is the pharmacy’s physical location at a grocery store or at a separate community location. The company is leveraging its deep experience with administering millions of flu and other vaccines every year to be ready to meet the needs of the communities it serves nationwide.
Company launches new website with information about vaccine’s safety, availability
To offer customers education, updates and convenient scheduling solutions for COVID immunization, Albertsons Cos. launched a new website on each of its banners’ websites featuring FAQs and education on the eligibility criteria.
“As we turn the page to 2021, we look forward to enabling relief promised by the COVID-19 vaccine,” Gajial said. “We are providing this critical public health service, with federal and state partnerships, safely through our well-trained pharmacy teams across our stores.”
Albertsons Cos. launches hiring campaign to add more than 800 pharmacy staff
To ensure its pharmacies can meet the demand for vaccinations while meeting its high standards for everyday pharmacy care, the company announced it plans to hire and train more than 800 pharmacists and pharmacy technicians nationwide.
The company is hiring in all banners and geographic regions it serves. Albertsons Cos. operates more than 1,700 pharmacies locations nationwide, including those in Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs stores.
Interested candidates can submit an application online at albertsonscompanies.com/careers.
Ensuring a safe pharmacy environment
The top priority at Albertsons Cos. is protecting the health and safety of everyone who enters its stores and pharmacies. The company continues to maintain a clean environment in its stores, and its pharmacists have taken a number of additional steps before, during and after administering vaccines to keep patients safe, including:
- Screening for COVID-19 symptoms before providing immunizations;
- Online consent and release form to streamline vaccine processing and reduce the number of patients in the waiting area;
- Personal protective equipment (PPE), including face shields, for all pharmacy associates;
- Hand hygiene practiced before and after immunizations, including changing gloves between patients;
- Monitoring COVID transmission and prevalence in the local area to adapt PPE requirements if necessary; and
- Maintaining social distancing before and after immunization.
Stay safe while waiting for the vaccine
While members of the community wait for their opportunity to receive the vaccine, the Albertsons Cos. pharmacy team is reminding the public to continue to follow CDC recommendations for protecting themselves and others, including frequent hand washing, social distancing and wearing masks or face coverings. Click here for the CDC’s guidance.