- Supermarket chains are stepping up their efforts to inform shoppers about the prominent role they are slated to play in inoculating the U.S. population against COVID-19 once vaccines become more widely available.
- Grocers including H-E-B, Kroger and Walmart have posted information on their websites about how people will be able to access vaccinations and emphasize that they are working with public health authorities to manage their immunization campaigns.
- Grocers are highlighting their efforts to bring the novel coronavirus pandemic under control after months of providing COVID-19 tests for people across the United States.
Food retailers have offered COVID-19 tests since early on in the pandemic, and are now tapping their connections with shoppers as they gear up for the frontline positions retail pharmacies will occupy in rolling out COVID-19 shots on a large scale.
H-E-B, for example, has published a detailed set of questions and answers about the strict guidelines its personnel must follow given the current shortage of COVID-19 vaccines and the fact that doses will spoil if not used within a certain period of time. The webpage lays out why access to the vaccine is limited, who is currently permitted to receive it and how people can certify their eligibility. The site also explains how people who qualify to get vaccinated can make an appointment to receive it and emphasizes that H-E-B is acting in concert with state public health authorities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Kroger has also posted information on its website that explains the government-led process it is following for distributing COVID-19 vaccinations and stresses that the shots have been shown to be highly effective at keeping the disease in check. The site offers an explanation of how an inoculation can help the body fight the virus that causes COVID-19 and underscores that the two approved vaccines authorized by the Food and Drug Administration have been demonstrated to be safe.
Walmart, which is directing its first COVID-19 vaccine allocations to its own pharmacy staff, also posted a Q&A on its website highlighting the fact that it is working in partnership with government authorities to manage the distribution of the shots.
Albertsons also posted information on its website noting its role in the national vaccine-distribution plan. The webpage allows people to sign up to receive information about when they will be able to set up an appointment to get vaccinated.
The information from the grocers comes at a time when there are concerns that people may not be properly informed about the vaccines. In a reflection of those worries, Facebook and Twitter both announced in December that they would remove false claims about the shots from their platforms.