As two COVID-19 vaccines await emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Texas’s largest grocer prepares for the unprecedented launch of the vaccines.
The San Antonio-based HEB announced that its pharmacies will start giving Texans the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available to the public.
“At HEB, the health and safety of Texans is a top priority,” said a December 3 press release. “HEB pharmacies will work with the federal and state governments as a trusted source for all routine vaccinations for children and adults.” Administer the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to the general public according to the CDC distribution schedule. “
While it is unclear when HEB will receive the vaccine doses and which company’s vaccine – Moderna, Pfizer / BioNTech or others – will be available through the grocer, health-conscious organizations and companies like HEB are preparing for the massive distribution that could begin as soon as 24 Hours of FDA approval.
The goal of Operation Warp Speed, the federal government’s plan to help develop, manufacture, and distribute millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses to Americans, is to “deliver safe vaccines that work, with the first supply nearing the end Will be available in 2020. ”According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC also notes that once a vaccine is approved and released, sufficient doses may not be available for all adults in the US, although supplies will increase over time and “all adults should be able to be vaccinated later in 2021”.
The CDC goes on to state that vaccine doses purchased with taxpayers’ money are distributed free to Americans. However, vaccine providers may charge an administration fee for providing the shot.
It’s unclear how many doses each store will receive and whether the company plans to sell the vaccine through its pharmacy drive-thru, in on-site medical pop-up tents, or solely in its store pharmacies.
“We have all HEB pharmacies registered and ready to deliver the vaccine,” said Leslie Sweet, HE-B director of public affairs for the central Texas area. “We will adhere to the prescribed allocation plan as prescribed by [the Department of State Health Services]. We don’t have a specific date or grant number to share yet. “
HEB pharmacies across the state have already put some security measures in place due to COVID-19 concerns, including the ability for customers to prepay prescriptions over the phone or have their prescriptions shipped for free, as well as touch-free pickup and delivery of Recipes through his drive-thru pharmacy.
In addition, HEB continues to take steps to protect its customers and employees during the pandemic.
“We go beyond our already strict hygiene standards and clean and disinfect pharmacy counters, waiting areas and drive-through areas more frequently,” the grocer states in its latest publication. “Our pharmacy partners practice correct hand washing and disinfect and wipe frequently used surfaces throughout the day. We have also installed acrylic barriers and provided masks and gloves for all pharmacy partners. … As always, your health and safety is of the utmost importance to us. Together we can slow the spread. “