CVS Health recently started to administer COVID-19 vaccines at employer-based vaccination clinics through Return Ready, helping to increase access to vaccinations for employees following expanded eligibility to all adults in the United States and an increasing vaccine supply.
With vaccine hesitancy on the rise, federal and state governments are looking to partners, like employers and CVS Health, to help by making vaccines more convenient to access and enhancing public education efforts. CVS Health is managing employer vaccination clinics for 18 employers across 51 locations, which began with Delta Air Lines in February 2021. The New York Shipping Association worked with Return Ready to operate vaccination clinics that included the International Longshoremen's Association and its members, and the City of Philadelphia is also working with Return Ready on vaccination clinics for all city employees.
"The widespread rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is a welcome and hopeful new chapter in the fight against the global pandemic. Return Ready can help employers increase their capacity to vaccinate and help bring Americans back to worksites safely," said Sree Chaguturu, chief medical officer of CVS Caremark. "Anchored on clinical consultation, Return Ready has successfully delivered COVID-19 testing solutions to more than 100 employers. We built upon our extensive experience and infrastructure for employer testing to now offer employer vaccination clinics."
Return Ready, first introduced as a customizable COVID-19 testing solution in June 2020, now includes COVID-19 vaccination options in addition to clinical protocols, digital scheduling tools and detailed reporting to meet the unique worksite needs of employers. As part of the vaccination offering, CVS Health is responsible for administering vaccinations at onsite clinics with trained health care staff who can also answer patient questions about the vaccine and direct them to appropriate resources. Until recently, CVS Health administered vaccines for employers that directly secured allocation from their state government. With eligibility expanded and vaccine supply increasing, CVS Health is now able to help employers obtain a vaccine supply where available.
"CVS Health has been a trusted partner in helping Delta protect our employees and give travelers peace of mind with the launch of our employee COVID-19 testing program last year," said Henry Ting, chief health officer at Delta Air Lines. "With the help of Return Ready, we are proud to be a leader in rolling out a successful employer-based vaccination program to help our people and customers reclaim their lives."
Delta selected CVS Health as its partner to begin administering vaccines to eligible employees at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. To date, CVS Health has administered more than 29,123 vaccines to Delta employees across five sites and conducted 181,442 tests.
"It's important to note that COVID-19 vaccinations, along with preventative measures, regular testing and timely treatment will all remain critical until we reach the end of the pandemic," said Chaguturu.
According to a recent CVS Health White Paper, given the ongoing spread of the virus as vaccines continue to be rolled out, prompt diagnosis through testing and isolation are still the foundation for limiting the spread of this highly contagious pathogen. For employers considering returning employees to workplaces or trying to keep facilities open, an optimal testing strategy to control potential outbreaks will remain critical. As a result, CVS Health will continue to provide testing as part of its comprehensive Return Ready solution.