WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (PROVIDED) — Hy-Vee, Inc. announced Tuesday that it has administered its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to long-term care facility staff and residents of the Lakeview Methodist Health Care Center in Fairmont, Minnesota.
Nearly 100 residents and staff members from the facility were vaccinated with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine today, which was recently authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Hy-Vee pharmacists will return to the long-term care facility after 28 days to administer the second dose.
“This is a historic moment for us all,” said Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee’s chairman, CEO and president. “As an early vaccine provider, we are committed to being at the forefront and working hand-in-hand with the CDC and our local governments to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to patients as we enter this first critical phase of vaccine distribution. I want to personally thank all of our dedicated pharmacy professionals for the work they will be doing in the coming months to vaccinate and protect the residents of the many communities we serve.”
Hy-Vee is part of a select group of retailers that was selected earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to be a COVID-19 vaccine provider. As the vaccine becomes more widely available to pharmacies, Hy-Vee will offer COVID-19 vaccines at all Hy-Vee pharmacy locations throughout its eight states, which includes Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Currently, Hy-Vee is working with local governments and organizations to provide vaccinations to those included in the CDC’s Phase 1A vaccine distribution plan, which includes health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. The vaccine will be free to patients.
“Hy-Vee’s eight-state footprint and bandwidth of more than 270 pharmacies gives us the unique opportunity to offer much-needed vaccine accessibility to both urban and rural communities across the Midwest,” said Aaron Wiese, Hy-Vee’s executive vice president of business innovation and chief health officer. “Our team of more than 2,700 pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are committed to following all CDC guidelines, and we have processes in place to ensure the administration of the vaccines are done so in a safe and efficient manner.”
Hy-Vee pharmacy members are required to wear masks and other personal protective equipment when administering vaccines. All patients must also wear masks during the vaccination process and are encouraged to practice social distancing when at the pharmacy location.
In addition, Hy-Vee offers free COVID-19 lab testing (molecular PCR) at more than 180 pharmacy locations, and rapid antigen COVID-19 testing for eligible patients for a minimal cost at 47 pharmacy locations. To schedule a testing appointment, patients can visit www.hy-vee.com/covidtesting.
Hy-Vee is currently searching for more than 1,000 pharmacy technicians to assist with COVID-19 testing and COVID-19 vaccine administration as more doses become available. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply at www.hy-vee.com/careers. In addition to enjoying a number of competitive benefits including a 10% employee discount, competitive pay and flexible scheduling, technicians who assist with the rapid antigen COVID-19 tests are eligible to receive a $250 bonus.