As Walgreens surpasses a milestone number of COVID-19 vaccinations administered, the company is rolling out new safety measures for its store and support office employees.
The chain on Wednesday said it has now administered more than 29 million COVID-19 jabs, noting that demand has been up more than 30% in some areas. At the same time, demand for testing has more than doubled. Alongside these trends, which have been driven by the spread of the Delta variant, the company is requiring its U.S. team members to wear face coverings, and mandating that its support office staff be vaccinated or enrolled in a testing program.
“As always, our top priority is ensuring the health and safety of our team members, customers and patients, and as a company deeply committed to health and wellness, our mission has never been more critical,” said Roz Brewer, CEO, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. “COVID-19 vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective, and are critical to stopping the spread of this terrible virus and ensuring all our communities are protected.”
Walgreens said the states seeing more than 30% growth in vaccine administration in the past several weeks include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas. In Florida, Missouri and other areas of the Gulf Coast, testing demand has risen by 30% week over week as demand has doubled from June to July.
The company said its support office staff will need to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30, with any unvaccinated staff members required to enroll in a COVID-19 testing program. Currently, the vaccine mandate does not apply to its store employees, distribution center workers, other facilities or non-U.S. support offices.