Supermarket Pharmacies Stand Ready to Administer COVID-19 Vaccine

Leslie G. Sarasin, president and chief executive officer of FMI – The Food Industry Association, offered comment in response to the release of recommendations regarding the allocation of limited initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccines by the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP):

“The importance of the COVID-19 vaccine and a convenient, efficient and safe delivery of the vaccine cannot be overstated. Supermarket pharmacies stand ready to play a significant role in administering COVID-19 vaccines to the public when they are available. In the interim, supermarkets are working diligently to provide food, cleaning products and the full range of pharmacy services – including flu and other vaccinations – to support Americans’ health and well-being.

“As trusted health care providers to their customers, our 12,000 member-operated supermarket pharmacies already administer comprehensive immunization services and in-depth patient counseling to their customers. According to FMI research, supermarket pharmacies currently provide 20% of the nation’s flu vaccines.  Furthermore, with the appropriate resources, supermarket pharmacists will dramatically expand access to COVID-19 vaccinations and rapidly advance our nation’s immunization program – similar to the role many FMI members played with the H1N1 vaccination effort. Importantly, supermarket pharmacies already reach underserved and vulnerable communities, sometimes as the only local provider of care. Thus, leveraging pharmacy-based immunizations is imperative to reaching a greater number of Americans in neighborhoods nationwide, including communities disproportionately impacted by the virus."