Labor

Retail pharmacies are hiring thousands of pharmacists and technicians as they struggle to meet vaccine demand

Walgreens is even giving bonuses to employees who get vaccine certifications.
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Francis Scialabba

· less than 3 min read

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Administering Covid vaccines has provided a bump to some retail pharmacies, as post-injection consumers browse the aisles. But, because of increased demand for boosters due to Omicron, combined with the labor shortage, it might not last, per the Wall Street Journal. Chains like CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart have had to limit hours and close drive-thrus as they look to recruit thousands of pharmacists and technicians.

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.4 million doses, on average, were administered every day in the US last week, up 22% from the previous week.

“Demand for vaccinations is particularly high at this time, so we encourage people to schedule their appointments in advance,” Walgreens told WSJ. The company is even doling out bonuses to employees who get certified to give the vaccine.

Over at CVS, appointments are available for the next two weeks, but staffing issues can lead to people waiting in lines or needing to schedule a week or more in advance.

  • The company recently hired 23,000 pharmacists, technicians, and other positions to facilitate Covid vaccines and tests.

Meanwhile, certain Walmart locations ceased walk-in vaccine appointments because they couldn’t manage the demand. Those stores offer online booking, but time slots are often weeks away in some locations, per WSJ’s reporting.

Looking ahead...More companies, including local chains like Publix, are beginning to carry Covid boosters amid the continuing labor shortage and emergence of new variants.—JG

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