CINCINNATI, March 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co. ( NYSE: KR), today announced it has significantly increased operational capacity to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, achieving the ability to deliver one million doses per week through in-store pharmacies and clinics, and mass vaccination off-site events.
To vaccinate more Americans more quickly, Kroger Health will use the first hour of pharmacy operations as a focus hour assigned to administering the three FDA-authorized vaccines. Patients will continue to have the ability to schedule appointments for various times, but the morning focus hour will allow for additional COVID-19 vaccines to be administered. To accomplish the administration of one million doses per week, the plan requires the activation of all pharmacies and clinics within Kroger Health's national network and ongoing and expanded partnerships with federal, state and local governments and health officials. Kroger Health will launch the new focus hour this week in Ohio, with additional states to follow next week as soon as vaccine accessibility and supply increases.
"I'm so proud of Kroger Health and our teams across the country whose dedication, commitment, and flexibility are helping America confront and recover from this public health crisis. By the end of this week, Kroger Health will have administered one million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, and we're only getting started. We're here to collaborate with our existing federal and state partners, and we're ready to work with other states to accelerate the vaccination of more Americans and reach our full capacity, leveraging our 2,250 pharmacy and 220 clinic locations," said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health.
"We're pleased with the continued increase of vaccine allocations and hopeful the additional inventory will speed up the rollout guidelines to create greater access for our frontline grocery workers as we continue to advocate on their behalf," continued Lindholz.
Beginning this month, Kroger Health is planning 100 mass vaccination off-site events nationwide to expand its vaccination efforts, starting with partnerships in Kentucky and Ohio. Throughout the pandemic, Kroger Health has remained an industry leader in offering diagnostic COVID-19 testing solutions, supportive care services and vaccine administration, supported by its team of experienced healthcare providers. The company was the nation's first retailer to offer rapid antibody tests to customers. Now, the significant increase of COVID-19 vaccinations deepens Kroger Health's commitment to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and helping America heal.
"We are strongly encouraging all customers and our associates – who qualify for a one-time reward payment of $100 – to receive the first vaccine available to them at the earliest possible opportunity once they become eligible in their local health jurisdiction to curb the spread of COVID-19 in our communities," said Dr. Marc Watkins, Kroger Health's Chief Medical Officer. "All three vaccines are authorized for use by the FDA and supported by the CDC in their proven effectiveness in protecting against COVID-19."
To learn more about Kroger Health's COVID-19 services or make a vaccination appointment, visit Kroger.com/CovidVaccine.
To download COVID-19 vaccine photography, please visit here.
At The Kroger Co. ( NYSE: KR), we are Fresh for Everyone™ and dedicated to our Purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit®. We are, across our family of companies, nearly half a million associates who serve over 11 million customers daily through a seamless shopping experience under a variety of banner names. We are committed to creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.
About Kroger Health:
Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co., is one of America's leading retail healthcare organizations, with over 2,200 pharmacies and 220 clinics in 35 states serving more than 14 million customers. Our team of 22,000 healthcare practitioners - from pharmacists and nurse practitioners, to dietitians and technicians – are committed to helping people live healthier lives. We believe in practicing at the top of our licenses and enabling "food as medicine" to help prevent or manage certain diseases. We are dedicated to providing testing and wellness services to help Americans combat the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more at www.krogerhealth.com.
SOURCE The Kroger Co.